If you’ve been keeping up with current events, you’ll know the odious FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently decided to punch freedom in the teeth when he shut down Net Neutrality nationwide in the interest of
getting more bribes deregulating things to make it safer for companies to make more money. To keep it light and fun, he referred to it as his “Restoring Internet Freedom” initiative.
It should also be noted that the idea of Net Neutrality was hugely popular with everyone except service providers.
For those not familiar with Net Neutrality, it deals with the idea that all network traffic on the Internet should be treated equally. Think of it as a kind of social equality for TCP/IP packets. In a net neutral world, it doesn’t matter what kind of underlying data structure you’ve got, where it came from, or how many packets are going to the same place, they all get full speed for the brief time between when they leave the server and hit your device. That means packets coming from Netflix get the same treatment as packets coming from the White House.
By striking down Net Neutrality in the guise of freedom, the FCC has allowed service providers to treat each packet differently. For instance, your HBO Go packets could be throttled just when Game Of Thrones starts up because HBO forgot to
bribe their ISP upgrade their account. Got a website that generates a lot of traffic, but pisses off a lot of people (I’m looking at you, 4Chan), your packets might not make it to where they need to go. Hey, sorry, these things happen.
In other words, the FCC just handed full control of your Internet content and speed over to a bunch of corporations who have never shown any interest in wielding that kind of power responsibly. To make things even more fun, Ajit and his network thugs also wrote a provision into the ruling that said states cannot implement their own version of Net Neutrality because reasons.
Fortunately, not all of the states in the Union bought into that. Montana’s governor, Steve Bullock, signed an executive order that any ISPs with state contracts need to abide by Net Neutrality rules if they want to keep their contracts. Sure, it’s a bit heavy-handed, but so was the FCC’s flimsy justification for handing the keys to the Internet kingdom over to the service providers.
Now, there’s no guarantee Montana’s executive order will stand, especially in the face of the rule the FCC handed down that said states can’t do that, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Way to go, Montana
We Are The World Blogfest is a collection of bloggers who take one day a month to drop a little good news on the world. This month’s hosts are:
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And now, your moment of Zen.