What is net neutrality?
A vote by the Federal Communications Commission on December 14, 2017 will decide on the fate of net neutrality. But what is it?
NEW YORK (AP) — net neutrality is a simple concept, but a dense and often technical problem has been asked about for years in tech and telecom circles. Every day now people are talking about it.
That’s because the Federal Communications Commission has scheduled a vote next week to gut Obama-era rules are designed to stop broadband companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to exercise more control over what people watch and to see on the internet. The protests aren’t likely to stop the agency from the vote on Thursday, but activists hope that the outrage will push Congress to intervene and will support for more stringent rules are on the way.
Net neutrality is a hot-button before, thanks to the assistance of Silicon Valley and TV presenter John Oliver to talk about what they see as threats to the internet. More Hollywood celebrities are joining the call against the agency in the direction of.
“Long live the cute dog videos on YouTube! #RIPinternet. Share what you love about The Internet,” actor Mark Ruffalo tweeted as he urged the people to push Congress to intervene. Major Hollywood producer Shonda Rhimes tweeted a link to a story about saving net neutrality on her lifestyle website .
Net-neutrality rules bar, cable and telephone companies in favor of certain web sites and apps — such as on their own services and give the FCC more oversight over privacy and the activities of the telecom companies. Supporters worry that repealing them would hurt startups and other companies that could not afford to pay for a broadband company for faster access to customers.
Critics of the rules say that they are hurt from investments in internet infrastructure and represent too much government interference in business. Phone and cable companies say that the rules are not necessary because they already have the support of an open internet.
While libertarian and conservative think tanks and telecom trade groups have spoken against net neutrality, ordinary people are vocal in protesting against the rules ” repealed.
Since the FCC announced just before Thanksgiving that it was planning to gut the rules, there are approximately 750,000 calls to Congress made by the Battle for the Net, a web site that is managed by groups that advocate for net neutrality. In contrast, there were fewer than 30,000 calls in the first two weeks of November. During the Congress does not approve FCC decisions, can overrule the agency by passing a law.
Net neutrality has also led to discussions about social media, and even in groups that usually do not have the technical policies. In a Facebook group about leggings seller LuLaRoe, a woman complaining about the withdrawal activated more than 270 responses. They included questions about what net neutrality is, links to explanations and statements of support. The debate stretched into the next day.
Meanwhile, net-neutrality supporters protested outside 700 Verizon stores on Thursday, said Tim Karr, senior director of strategy for Free Press, an advocacy group involved in the Battle for the Net. In midtown Manhattan, approximately 350 people came to chant slogans and wave signs.
“Access to a free and fair internet is necessary for a functioning democracy,” said Lauren Gruber, a writer for a branding agency who joined the New York protest. If the net-neutrality rules are repealed, ” she said, “it’s just a showcase of the oligarchy in America.”
Most people don’t follow what the federal agencies such as the FCC are doing, even though decisions can have a major impact on the lives of people, said Beth Leech, professor of political science at Rutgers University. Having celebrities speak out can help spark people’s interest, ” she said.
“The protests that draw average people in the streets in the country are relatively rare,” she said. “It is a rarity that gives them some of their power.”
The liberal organization MoveOn is at the insistence of the Americans to speak out for net neutrality. Democratic senators have called for a delay in the next Thursday the votes, while the Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel urged backers to “make a tumult.” Some Democrats hope that the stripping of the Obama-era net neutrality rules will be a campaign battle cry in 2018 and beyond.
“Net neutrality has the potential to motivate young and progressive voters to turn out,” said Tyler Law, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which tries to get Democrats elected in the House.
“There will be a political price to pay for those who are on the wrong side of this issue, because net neutrality time as a campaign issue has arrived,” Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., an old net neutrality supporter, said in a call with reporters Wednesday.
The republican campaign officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The FCC’s comment system has logged 23 million comments, compared to approximately 4 million euro for the latest blockbuster problem — when the agency approved the net neutrality rules in 2015. August an investigation by a data firmly supported by the telecom industry was that 60 percent of the comments from this year supported keeping the 2015 rules.
But the comment system is messy. The FCC says the millions of comments, use of temporary e-mail accounts fakemailgenerator.com hundreds of thousands of responses came from an address in Russia and many of the responses were duplicates.
A number of net-neutrality supporters have become intensely personal in their advocacy. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and his staff called ugly and racist tweets and death threats. Pai also said activists came to his home to place signs which referred to his children. A man was brought in November, threatening to kill the US. Rep. John Katko and his family as the New York Republican is not for net neutrality.