Let me start by sharing a personal story about my Internet access. In my home, we are gamers/streamers/multi-device users. We have two XBoxes, multiple computers, iPads, Apple TV, Chromecast + Cable – which might all be going at the same time. AND THE ONLY reason we have cable is for sports & BBC America.
We have one of the fastest options from our local cable provider. Our bill is outrageous. So you can feel my pain when we had the cable installer come out last year and tell us that there is just this dial that they turn to make the speeds faster to compete with other local providers. It is THAT EASY for them to give us better, faster access – and we are paying out the nose for it! They are now allowed to throttle our access for their own gain – AND we don’t have any better option to turn to!
I can’t talk about how unfair Internet access in this country is without mentioning Susan Crawford, former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology and innovation, and author of “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age.”
Since I caught this interview, I have found myself very interested in this topic, and even more interested since I started volunteering in an underserved school, where many homes do not have Internet! In a world where learning can be expanded through this portal, I am disappointed in light of the recent FCC ruling.
In short: Most people are talking about this in relation to streaming services and competition against cable providers’ own streaming services. i.e. Comcast vs. Netflix, but I see it as moving even further in the opposite direction to a more open, affordable and accessible Internet.
Even more, it means that these providers can BLOCK your access to sites and SLOW your speeds if they don’t like what you are viewing. There is no one protecting us from this.
It also means that e-entrepreneurs will have a tougher time launching competing services to Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Youtube, Netflix and the like.
It is time for you to make your voice heard. If you agree with ANYTHING I have written or linked to, please, please, PLEASE sign this petition. Then tell your friends and colleagues to sign it, too. You can also reach out to your state reps for additional action. Let your voice be heard!