The image above is a representation of what could possibly happen if the FCC does not pass regulation that states the ISPs cannot throttle websites or charge extra to visit them over their own. This has already happened in one instance, with Comcast and Netflix. If the FCC does not pass Title 2 regulation on February 26th, the ISPs will be free to control the Internet and change it forever.
For those unfamiliar, Net Neutrality is the concept that ISPs cannot slow down a website for any reason, namely competition. Comcast owns NBC, so they would very much like it if they could throttle other sites not owned by them, such as Netflix and YouTube. Here are three different sources of media where information about Net Neutrality can be found.
While this website is part of a TV show on HBO, no Net Neutrality debate is complete without John Oliver explaining it to his viewers. Since the first episode of his show aired in April of 2014, it has increasingly gained in popularity. For his 5th episode, John Oliver attacked the issue of Net Neutrality. Due to his TV show directing people to send a message to the FCC on their website, the FCC’s website crashed multiple times over the course of a week. More than 4 million comments were submitted to the FCC to lead up to the vote this Thursday over last summer, many of which were probably due to John Oliver calling people to action. I have embedded the specific Net Neutrality videos here. If you also like hearing about the lottery, salmon cannons, and more, check out his show at 11 PM on Sundays. Or wait for the main parts of the episodes to hit on Monday morning.
Vox is a relatively new news organization, having only launched in April of 2014. Vox was founded by Vox Media, who also owns The Verge, SB Nation, Polygon, Curbed, Eater, and Racked. However, just because Vox is new, doesn’t mean they aren’t doing their job. Vox has done stories on many things, ranging from racism in the United States, to cannibalism. Since they are on this list, they also do many articles on Net Neutrality. Through Vox, I have learned many things, such as which companies want and do not want Net Neutrality, the basics of the new Net Neutrality proposal to soon be voted on, and which companies have the worst customer service when dealing with customers. Through Vox, many other people have the potential to learn about this issue too.
Last, but not least, we have The Washington Post. The Washington Post is old media, being founded in 1877. However, that doesn’t mean they should be counted out. They have done great work on the subject since it first started becoming an issue in 2005. Articles older than 2005 require a payment, but newer articles should suffice. In 2010, the FCC first tried to pass net neutrality legislation, but many ISPs sued the government, causing the rules to be deemed illegal. The Washington Post has continued to follow the subject to the present day, with two very interesting articles, seen here and here.
Net Neutrality is one of the most pressing issues the Internet has faced in recent years. Through these forms of media, both video and text, I have learned a lot and have also acted on it. I have filed many petitions with the EFF and many other organizations. I hope that with these sources of information about the topic, that others will also act on this sensitive issue and see to it that the ISPs cannot make the Internet how they want it to be, with paid prioritization and other limits.