You may have heard rumors about the upcoming vote of the Federal Communications Commission on the neutrality of the network, scheduled for December 14. Between protests, angry messages on social networks and calls to contact their representatives, it can be difficult to determine what exactly the neutrality of the average network is. Here is our voting guide that could change the future of the Internet.
What is net neutrality and why should I care?
Net neutrality is the idea that Internet service providers are the largest Comcast, AT & T, Verizon and Charter: they should treat all websites equally. At this time, it is a cliché to imagine the Internet as a highway, but think of the neutrality of the network as a speed limit, preventing ISPs from quickly tracking certain websites and reducing speed in others.
The FCC has spent several months publicizing public protest, including many online protests and 21.7 million comments sent, many of which on both sides of the issue were found to be automated or spammed.
Part of that public protest will come to a head on Thursday during a national day of protests organized by the pro-net neutrality group Team Internet, a collection of companies, organizations and influential people, including websites like Etsy, Kickstarter and Tumblr. The Internet giants, such as Google, Reddit and Netflix, although not part of Team Internet, also support the neutrality of the network.
Protests will be held outside Verizon stores, a nod to Ajit Pai, president of the FCC, a lawyer for the company before moving to the FCC later in his career. "Ajit Pai clearly continues to work for Verizon, not for the public," says the mission statement of the event. "But he still has to respond to Congress."
Locally, protesters plan to meet outside the Bourbonnais Verizon store, 534 Main St. NW, from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday.
"I think there are many people who are not aware that this is happening or what net neutrality means and how it affects their lives." With a little luck, by doing this, we can become aware of the fact that this is happening and will affect everyone, "said Kegan DePagis, who plans to attend the protest.
Advocates of net neutrality say it helps small businesses take off and protects freedom of expression by not allowing websites to charge more for or directly block access to certain content. If an ISP decided to launch a video transmission service, for example, it could make its own videos load faster while slowing competitors like Netflix.
"The way I see it, the best possible scenario if you get rid of the net neutrality is that the cost of the Internet will go up, and the worst case scenario is that companies will be able to restrict or block access to websites that conflict with their interests or spread a certain message that they do not want to spread, "said Daniel Aumiller, another protester.
"This should be a completely non-partisan issue," he added. "In any case, I see this more as a matter of outsiders versus insiders."
The figures suggest that it is true: a survey earlier this year showed that 76% of Americans support the neutrality of the network, with 81% of Democrats and 73% of Republicans surveyed saying they think that regulations are necessary.
What is the recent history of this problem?
Since the Internet became part of our daily lives, politicians have debated whether to treat it as a utility or not. as electricity or telephone service. In 2015, the FCC voted to reclbadify Internet access under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, which means it is so necessary for daily life that it must be carefully regulated.
Under this new clbadification, ISPs do not have the same high standards as telephone companies, but the FCC has the power to strongly regulate internet service. The ISPs took the FCC to court with respect to the reclbadification and lost it, which means that the matter is likely to return to the court after the next vote.
What do critics want of net neutrality?
Opposites to net neutrality discourage large companies from making investments by penalizing them with too many regulations.
"Many critics do not seem to understand that we are moving from clumsy regulation to light regulation, not a completely non-interventionist approach, we will not give anyone a free pbad," Pai said in a recent speech.
In general, large ISPs have promised not to slow down or "strangle" other websites, saying that opponents are exaggerating when they say that the end of net neutrality will empower businesses to censor content.
"Such claims, while excellent for fundraising, are as absurd now as they were a decade ago when they were first prophesied," Joan Marsh, executive vice president of AT & T business affairs, said in a public statement "The Internet was an open environment for innovation and inclusion before the intrusive intervention of the government and will remain open after this order is adopted."
Where are my politicians?
U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth have expressed their support for net neutrality, with Duckworth posting a statement on Facebook that said in part: "The FCC's planned reversal of this critical safeguard would threaten an open and free internet and should worry to all Internet users. "
EE. UU Rep. Adam Kinzinger, of the 16th Congressional District, which covers a section of northern Illinois, which includes all of Iroquois County and part of Will County, has not released a statement about the upcoming vote. He introduced a bill in 2015 to limit the power of the FCC to regulate broadband prices, which happened in the House but never went to the Senate.
"The neutrality of the network and the rules governing Americans' access to the Internet can not and do not owe political football," wrote Rep. Robin Kelly of the 2nd district, which includes the entire county of Kankakee, in a statement to the newspaper.
"Instead of changing the rules with each administration and putting other federal agencies in competition, Congress must act and establish common sense rules that work for all users." Kelly is the highest ranking member of the Chamber's Information Technology subcommittee.