Fellow Dukes –
I am currently LIVID at the potential repeal of Net Neutrality. The thought of companies censoring information, charging for access to specific sites, and charging even more for business site performance has me in all sorts of annoyance. I don’t even LIKE politics, but I do like money in my bank account with access to services I enjoy without the requirement of extra membership fees to help balance the new fees those services will have to pay.
Let me quickly summarize and reference a few articles of what in the world I’m even writing about on this Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving.
In 2015, the Obama administration declared the role of high-speed internet to be in the same category as utilities, such as electricity or phones. They prevented companies like Verizon or Comcast to charge extra fees for businesses who want “fast-lane” accessible internet. This allows all companies fair access to the internet speeds and also consumers. We pay for internet, we can visit any site we choose and our internet streams at the speed we pay for.
This week, the FCC chairman has put a proposal to remove these repeals. The idea is that internet companies aren’t investing as much as they would due to government meddling of the services – meaning that in the long run the services offered would not be as good. By deregulating, you let competition + investments fuel the investments. They don’t quite mention how much money they will make for their board at the same time.
Two big challenges (and others) have been brought forward if this repeal goes through.
- Start-ups won’t be able to afford these new fast lane cost to get into appropriate bundles, so they will be at a disadvantage
- Censorship – internet companies will be choosing what we can and can’t access based on what we pay for. THIS IS BONKERS. More details below.
Here are two news articles if you’re interested in reading more (I also include a site at the bottom to help fight against if interested).
We’re totally open to hearing your opinions and thoughts on the subject in the comments! We won’t scold any opposing views.
Your Business and Blog
Look, we love the personal finance community. It has legit changed our life and our knowledge to make a better future. We’re trying to spread that knowledge to help others build their kingdom. The free access and performance of these sites have been nothing but beneficial to our lives, and I’d wager a bet (as a nonbetting man) that it has benefited you also!
Let me ask a few questions:
- Do you enjoy letting your readers come to your site and providing them articles at appropriate speeds?
- Do you want to pay extra to continue that user experience?
- Would you find it an appropriate line item to pay Verizon or Comcast to fast-lane your blog?
I for certain DO NOT think it would be good for the blogging world and small business world for this to happen.
Unless you’re Michelle making 100K a month, I don’t think an extra line item in the blogging world would go over well. Especially for people who have followed their passion and use their blog’s income to fund their children’s college fund, enjoy the coffers being filled with investments they’ve made, and so on.
Even more worrying is that I’m speaking about blogging only above. This also continues down to those small businesses in your town you love so much, or start-ups creating innovative products to change up the market. It cost enough to start a business, hire designers to make the website, and other operating costs. It would be like paying for the lights only electric bundle, but unfortunately, we can only charge 10 PCs at a time in the office. If we charge 11, then we get charged extra per use like we do for data on our phones. Again I say, BONKERS.
Your Bank Account
Steaming services cost money.
The big Internet Providers will begin to create package bundles like they currently do with cable, to let us “choose” which best fit our needs. Want to access Facebook, Instagram, and Google with the normal speed we’re used to? Pick the browsing package that also includes all the bullshit we don’t need, just like people buy cable packages of 200+ channels when they only want to consistently watch ESPN.
Our access to these services is based on subscription cost, which covers their operating cost + makes them profit. Further, social media site access could cost extra as well. A possible scenario that has been raised is who will pay for the extra cost if Internet Service Providers charge them extra to use faster internet speeds? Let us be clear, Netflix + Dial-up era internet speeds just won’t work well for the customer. This extra cost to Netflix will transform into higher subscription cost, meaning our bank accounts will suffer.
We’re cord cutters to save on cost – if this charge for streaming services we use to remove the cable from our life happens, then we have cut cable for naught (depending on the cost).
After working with and learning about different cultures from my travels or bar hopping weekends, it has been fascinating to learn how other countries censor the internet of their society. Facebook groups and events are a huge part of our American culture. In China, they are not allowed to access it. By not allow, I mean that their internet providers don’t let them connect to it. The site doesn’t work when they try!
The FCC appeal invites the possibility of censorship based on the package you buy. The details haven’t been totally flushed out on how exactly this would work, but speculations about losing the opportunity to visit sites you enjoy, chosen by the internet providers based on cost, raises concern for many of us.
Imagine having to decide whether or not you want to pay $10 a month extra to Verizon so you can enjoy catching up with your friend’s lives or managing events, knowing that if you don’t fork up the extra mula then Comcast has decided for you. Preposterous!!
OK, my morning rant is over. The possibility of the appeal is very much real due to the FCC board having 3 Republics out of 5 members. If those 3 votes to repeal it happen, then it will be let the game begin.
I want to be clear that this rant isn’t political based, it is more self-serving for my bank account and community-based for the small businesses (or non-profits) out there trying to make a difference! The electricity example above really hammers the point of how ridiculous it would be – utility companies providing bundles to determine the amount of electricity or strength of the electricity you have. It just doesn’t make sense.
How Can You Take Action?
20+ million people have commented with many opposing it.
I sincerely enjoy reading each and one of your blogs when time permits it. I want that enjoyment to continue and for your business to succeed as I totally support you and your business.
Oppose the FCC by calling your Congressman to stop this. Check out https://www.battleforthenet.com/ today and start calling! Or put you wallet where your heart is, and help us in our #PFvsFCC campaign to support the Electronic Frontier Foundation.