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The Coming Dark Age of the Internet

The Coming Dark Age of the Internet

. Rachel Simmons

TomboyX is a small business. We are a women-owned, LGBT-owned, small business. That’s three strikes against us in the coming dark age of the internet if the FCC repeals Net Neutrality.

As you have probably already heard, Net Neutrality means internet service providers (e.g., Comcast) have to treat all internet traffic the same. Net Neutrality means they can’t speed up internet traffic they favor and slow down traffic they don’t. 

Trump’s FCC chairperson, Ajit Pai, wants to destroy Net Neutrality. The FCC voted in May to let Pai’s plan move forward, and were flooded with more than 22 million public comments. Only 3 million comments were unique and organic, and 95% of those were in favor of Net Neutrality. The rest were found to be made by bots, almost all of them against Net Neutrality. 

The FCC will vote on Pai’s proposal on Dec. 14.

 

Net neutrality empowers marginalized communities

 

The consequences of no Net Neutrality will be a special kind of devastating for marginalized communities that traditional media outlets fail to serve. POC, the LGBT community, and religious minorities in the United States rely on unimpeded internet to organize, disseminate information, access opportunities & support systems, and fight back against systemic discrimination. 

 

Net neutrality allows small businesses to freely compete

 

Small businesses cannot survive without open internet. Without net neutrality, the ecommerce market will become pay-to-play, and would allow large retailers to use their resources to suppress competitors. For example, ISPs could charge an additional fee for faster speeds. Large businesses, like Amazon, would have no trouble paying the extra money, but small business, like TomboyX, may not be able to find the extra cash.

For those small businesses that could not afford to pay the cost to operate in the fast lane, the consequences would be severe and immediate. Studies show about half a website’s visitors will leave the site if their page doesn’t load in 3 seconds. If traffic to our site is artificially throttled, we will lose customers and we will die. 

It is because of Net Neutrality that small businesses like us are able to thrive and grow online. 

 

Pai in the face

 

Members of the FCC have not been elected by, nor are they beholden to the people or public opinion. Egging the FCC building won’t do anything; moreover, we the people can’t directly stop the FCC from voting a certain way. But Congress can stop the FCC. Ajit Pai is a political appointee and owes his job to the Republican party, which means it’s in his best interest to listen to pressure from those representatives. 

 

What you can do right now

 

Find out which of your representatives are anti-net neutrality, and call them!

5 Calls has phone numbers and scripts for your specific Representatives.

- If you’re not a phone call person, text RESIST to 50409 and Resistbot will deliver your text message to your Representative via letter or fax.


Rachel Simmons

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OUR VOICE IS A COLLECTIVE ONE. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

The Collective Voice

  • nikkia

    i think if the rest of society stops paying for all internet service providers that will hit them hard and force them to either close shop or have one of those emergency meetings then d. trump will have to do his speeches and his staff and then just then they might bring back net neutrality! remember the only reason comcast, spectrum, att, twc exist is because of their customers…without customers how can they exist?