Save the Internet!

Net neutrality is hanging on by the thinnest of threads. Last week, the FCC formally proposed new rules that would allow companies like Netflix to pay internet service providers like Comcast to have their content sent to customers at faster speeds. That decision, which divided the FCC along party lines, came after weeks of protest from consumer advocates who worry that the new rules would create internet "fast lanes" for companies that can afford to pay for faster speeds.

As the FCC voted, hundreds of protesters gathered outside its Washington, D.C. Headquarters, and demanded that the agency protect net neutrality and start regulating the internet like a public utility. This time around, the FCC didn't listen to protesters, and they voted on rules that could set up an internet that's divided between the haves and have-nots. However, as this comment period begins, our activism could be the only thing standing in the way of a pay-for-play internet.

Huge corporations that can afford hefty fees will be able to ensure that everyone can access their content. But, independent artists, journalists, and shows just like this one, may have no recourse if their material gets bumped into the slow lane. And, don't think for a second that internet providers like Comcast and Verizon won't pass that fee right on to the customer. This is a potential win-win for huge corporations, and a lose-lose for the rest of us.

Let the FCC know how you feel by leaving a comment at FCC.gov, and tell Chairman Wheeler to that these proposed rules do nothing to protect net neutrality. Let them know that the internet is our information commons and it should always remain open and free.

Comments

jkh6148's picture
jkh6148 8 years 12 weeks ago
#1

Another money making scheme by the MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY OF NARCISSISTIC CORPORATE CEOs to keep themselves on top and push the little guy farther down.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 12 weeks ago
#2

At what point does a new technology, like high-speedy internet, become a right of all Americans? Is there some threshold of people who have it, before it becomes a "necessity"? (That's a sincere question, not sarcasm.)

According to the Pew research center, currently, about 15% of American adults never go online, mostly by choice. This, of course, includes a lot of older Americans. I personally know three people - ages 54, 61, and 90 who don't even own computers. By comparisson, only about 5% of Americans do not have a microwave. They are stuck doing their cooking the slow way. Should we also pass laws forcing microwave companies to give their products to those who do not have them?

The idea that you should, if you want to, be able to pay for a better version of something that is considered a "ultility" doesn't seem that odd. People can pay for "better" electricity by installing solar panels and back-up generators. People can pay for "better" drinking water by installing water softners and filters at home. You can pay for "better" gas if you choose, "better" food, and even a "better" lawyer in court if you choose.

In all likelyhood, today's internet speeds will be considered slow a decade from now. Does that mean, if you have today's speeds a decade from now, that you are somehow having your rights taken away? Which brings me back to my original point - when did speedy internet access become a right?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 12 weeks ago
#3

Chi Matt -- First a response to your general question and then a comment on the internet.

Quote Chi Matt: Is there some threshold of people who have it, before it becomes a "necessity"? (That's a sincere question, not sarcasm.)

Natural monopolies (water, electricity (can you imagine competition among power lines), natuaral gas etc.) should all be under government regulations. Those regulations should be decided democratically and not by who has the most money.

With regards to the internet, our tax dollars built it via NASA and DOD. I think anything that is bought by our tax dollars should rightfully belong to us.

arky12's picture
arky12 8 years 12 weeks ago
#4

It's occurred to me lately that with the advance of corporate monopoly, we are moving backwards, not forwards. Even with the internet and the original dial up connections, if this passes the vast majority will be priced out of any reasonable internet speeds so in a sense our voices will be stilled. Corporate voices are becoming louder and louder and ours quieter and quieter and they will not be satisfied until we are all deaf and mute.

kgraff's picture
kgraff 8 years 12 weeks ago
#5

If we hadn't let our infrastructure lag behind what is available in Europe and Asia there would not be a need for fast lanes. It is just another way to bleed consumers and silence dissent while providing poorer service.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 12 weeks ago
#6

Matt, as usual you miss the point. This issue concerns freedom of speech and discourse. The end of net neutrality not only means lousy service to those not favored by Comcast, etc.; it's also a problem of censorship. And this means corporate control over even more aspects of our daily lives.

I agree with Chuck (post #4); our tax dollars built the internet, and anything that our tax $$ paid for should belong to us, not some privately owned corporation.

"Kgraff" (post #6) makes another excellent point: that if our internet service was as good as Europe's and Asia's, fast lanes versus slow lanes would not even be an issue.

This whole idea of "the commons"; i.e. an infrastructure owned by everyone and no one, that we all have equal access to, just doesn't seem to register with you. - Alice IW

Palsimon's picture
Palsimon 8 years 12 weeks ago
#7

you asked when speedy internet access became a right. I suggest that the first Amendment should prohibit monopolies on speech and debate. The internet is, in fact, a public utility.

You also suggest older people don't care about the internet and don't use computer. Hog Wash! I am 75 years old and I, like many, many of my friends the same age, do literally ALL their political activity over the internet with their late model computers. Just because people get old does not mean they become uneducated. A lot of uneducated young people do not use computers either. Where did you get the idea the elderly don't want internet service.

I also contend that the elderly people may have more wisdom to impart to the public than younger people have, considering their years of experience on this earth.

Equality of opportunity to voice one's opinions and to communicate with others on this planet is essential to liberty and justice we supposedly all want in any society.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 12 weeks ago
#8

Thanks for your input, Palsimon. I couldn't agree more. Why should everything we do have to translate into an opportunity for someone to make a buck? Can't we have ANYTHING that's open and free to the public, without some corporation barging in and taking over?!! I think the internet has been a marvelous venue for us to share ideas, perspectives, opinions, information and knowledge; why do these oligarchs have to mess it up? What gives them the bloody right?!!! As if stealing our government wasn't bad enough... What are we gonna do about it? - Aliceinwonderland

P.S. Matt, you've drunk the privatizers' kool aid. And as an "educator", you're passing it on to the next generation. Such a pity.

P.P.S. Corporate fascists hate free speech.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 12 weeks ago
#9
This issue concerns freedom of speech and discourse. The end of net neutrality not only means lousy service to those not favored by Comcast, etc.; it's also a problem of censorship. And this means corporate control over even more aspects of our daily lives.

That makes it sound as if you didn't have freedom and speech and discourse until the internet existed. And that the 15% of Americans who choose not to get it, or can't afford even the basics, somehow don't have freedom of speech and discourse. I disagree. And I keep coming back to the same question - when did the internet switch from being a fun thing for those who could afford it, to a basic "utility"? Was it when a simply majority of Americans had it?

This whole idea of "the commons"; i.e. an infrastructure owned by everyone and no one, that we all have equal access to, just doesn't seem to register with you.
Thom's not talking about people being kicked off of the internet. He's talking about companies who use the internet allowing people and other companies to pay more for faster service.

Highways are part of the commons, but people can pay more for nicer cars to use on them.

Airports and the FAA are part of the commons, but people can pay extra for better service there.

Stadiums are part of the commons, but people can pay extra for better service there.

The post office is part of the commons, but you can pay extra for better service there too.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 12 weeks ago
#10
Equality of opportunity to voice one's opinions and to communicate with others on this planet is essential to liberty and justice we supposedly all want in any society.

If that is the case, there should be no charge for calling someone overseas. Making me pay to talk to anyone in the world is somehow a violation of my free speech. In fact, I shouldn't even have to buy the phone in my house to make that call. Phones should just be issued to everyone on Earth.

SteveS's picture
SteveS 8 years 11 weeks ago
#11

Wheeler is being disingenuous in holding a sign touting an "open Internet" when, in reality, he is instituting a "pay-to-play" Internet.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 11 weeks ago
#12

Oh yeah Matt! You can pay for better water, better sewer, better fire department, better doctors, and you can pay to commute on better roads than the ones traveled by the poor. And oh yes, you can choose to pay for a better lawyer too! Try telling that to the next motel maid, waitress or homeless person you encounter.

Before the automobile was invented, nobody depended on cars; before the telephone was invented, nobody needed a phone to function either. So fucking what. So it is with computers and the internet. You conveniently sidestep the simple fact that each of these milestone innovations changed society, which is why we depend on them now, and not by "choice". Our infrastructure and way of life are tied to these inventions more intimately than some of us might have preferred. It is what it is, however, making it necessary to adapt regardless of how we might feel about it.

Pompous, selfish, callous, holier-than thou… you conservatives make me sick. I've bloody had it with this "you're-on-yer-own-and-you-git-what'cha-pay-for, me-first, I-got-mine-and-screw-you, me-me-me" fucking mentality, along with that "guvmint is evil" mantra pushed by you guys so relentlessly, to sell us all on privatization. That's not the kind of world I want to live in. Along with the majority posting here, I flat-out reject that ideology and worldview. We'd prefer a culture based more on cooperation than competition, a "we" society not a "me" society where everyone can function and thrive and stay connected and no one goes hungry. Norway, Sweden and Denmark all figured that out, and ya know, their people are way better off because of it. What's good enough for them is good enough for us. Because without guaranteed healthcare there is no freedom. Without food security there is no freedom. Without shelter there is no fucking freedom. You can add mobility to that list. And without open channels of communication available to everyone, where we all can express ourselves freely, regardless of income, social status or whatever, "freedom" is just an abstraction.

It's corporate bloody fascist, this message you keep hammering at us Matt, along with a few others popping up here from time to time, and we're not buying it. - Aliceinwonderland

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 11 weeks ago
#13
Quote Aliceinwonderland:Oh yeah Matt! You can pay for better water, better sewer, better fire department, better doctors, and you canpay to commute on better roads than the ones traveled by the poor.

Aliceinwonderland ~ First let me apologize. I've been very busy the last few days. Second. let me assure you that you are wasting your breath. This Matt is a shill. Not your typical right wing low brow shill like Kend, but a much more educated and functional shill. Nevertheless, a textbook shill; and, probably a higher paid one at that.

My reasoning is first and foremost that he completely contradicts his own perspective whenever he opens his mouth. After all, what teacher in their right mind would ever attack the commons. That is the best perspective for education that has ever existed. That embodies fingertip access to every book ever written. Remember, I've got over 10 years experience under my wing with parochial schools. I've never met any teacher who would ever assault Net Neutrality. It clearly goes against the fiber of anyone who ever seriously teached. Yet this bozo openly attacks this most fundamental learning tool like it somehow was not an "entitlement" to every person.

In this country we are suffering from a surplus of greedy bastards. That is most evident in our medical--pay or die--system. The hippocratic oath??? Where is it?? Whenever you have a profit or nothing system you can count on having people who just don't give a crap about their fellow human beings. That is the case in this situation. Matt just doesn't give a crap. The rest of us do. I would suggest that we save our energies to argue amongst ourselves and leave Matt and his ilk to be the loan senseless voice in the wilderness that they aspire to be... ie. ignore them. We can make so much more progress on our own by ignoring this sophomoric, balderdash nonsense. DAM

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 11 weeks ago
#14

My apologies all. I'm somewhat swamped the next few weeks. No cause for concern. I'll happily rejoin the cause ASAP. Till then, "Happy Blogging!!" DAM

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 11 weeks ago
#15

Marc, I see nothing to argue with here. But please know, that was just one of my rants. I'm savvy enough to know I'm wasting my breath if I try getting through to someone like Matt. I don't expect Matt to change. I just wanted to vent because that shit gets to me. Makes me crazy. Long as I feel better afterwards, it's not a total waste regardless of how entrenched or clueless Mr. Teabrain's argument happens to be, or his mind set...

But don't worry Marc, it didn't spoil my day either, nor am I in any way depleted. Not any more than after a nice big dump, if ya know what I mean. Anyway I hope Oakland was as sunny and pleasant as Coos Bay was today. Hardly a cloud in the sky. Namaste… - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 11 weeks ago
#16
Quote Aliceinwonderland: Don't worry, it didn't spoil my day either. Hope yours was as sunny and nice as ours up here. Namaste

Aliceinwonderland ~ Yes and no. We've had our hands full recently. Nothing to be concerned about; just regular life adjustments. Hopefully, in the end, it will be a big bonus. Anyway, as long as you are enjoying our "friend" I'm happy. If you don't hear much from me in the next few days don't worry--I've just got my hands full. I'll be back blogging before you probably notice I'm absent. I just don't want anyone to worry. See you in a few days!! Namaste, Comrades!!

ChicagoMatt 8 years 11 weeks ago
#17

You'll never believe this, but I'm not a shill. I just thought I was adding to the debate. It's not much of a debate if it's just the same handful of people agreeing with each other.

But, I can see I'm not wanted. Plus the fact that one of you are looking for me in real life is kind of creepy.

So good luck to you all. And I mean that sincerely. I really did enjoy my time here.

I'll delete my account as soon as I figure out how.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 11 weeks ago
#18

(comment deleted)

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 11 weeks ago
#19

Thanks for the notice, Marc. Here's hoping that whatever it is will be a big bonus if not cause for celebration.

I'm still chuckling over your "USDA BS" from that other thread. Guess Matt's cover's been blown, eh? HAH! Thanks for doing the honors... By the way, I wonder whose payroll these shills are attached to. What comes to mind are litters of piglets, sucking off the tits of Big Oil, Big Pharma, Corporate Agriculture (the farmers from hell)... oh if only I was a cartoonist!! (SIGH) - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 11 weeks ago
#20

;-}

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 11 weeks ago
#21

Gee Matt, how come you have to bail just when things start heating up! Yeah I suppose we give conservatives a pretty hard time here... just goes with the territory when they post on a progressive forum like this.

We might appear to be a "handful of people agreeing with each other", at least on the surface. But anyone inclined to dig a little deeper into this stuff would see that is hardly the case. We've had our share of disagreements among the regulars here. To be truthful, I often envy those fascists for being so in lockstep! If we progressives could become even half that unified, we'd be much more effective as a political force. I've heard it said many times that any attempt to unify us on the left would be like trying to herd cats. That has more than a ring of truth to it, I'd say.

Anyway Matt, no hard feelings at least from this end. Yeah you pushed my buttons, but that's par for the course. I know we get ornery here, maybe sometimes more than necessary. It's just that we hear the same old conservative talking points all the time: for drowning guvmint in a bathtub, for privatizing everything that once comprised the commons; for "drill baby drill", for "Stand Your Ground", for shit like "Doctor Tiller the baby killer" and so-called "abortion clinics" and "legitimate rape", and the "attack on Christianity" and "politically correct" and "Bomb-bomb Iran" and "corporations are people my friend" (while some humans are tagged as "aliens"! tsk...) and on and on it goes. And I think that many of us have reached the saturation point with that garbage. Because no matter how much you guys constantly complain about "liberal media" and "liberal bias" ad nauseam, actual statistics tell a different story. The airwaves are overwhelming dominated by right wing yahoos like Limbaugh and Beck, along with lesser-known members of that tribe, all beating the corporate fascist drum. It's hard to get away from it because it is everywhere, and we are tired of it. Makes us kinda grumpy. But please understand, it's nothing personal. - Aliceinwonderland

ChicagoMatt 8 years 11 weeks ago
#22

No hard feeling at all. I actually enjoyed the chat, and it did open my eyes a little. Mostly the religious side of it - am I really living my beliefs? On the other hand, it also opened my eyes about progressives. Well, some of them at least.

I emailed the webmaster and asked him or her to delete my account, since there doesn't seem to be any other way to do it.

I wish I could convince you that I'm not a shill. Just a guy who likes good political discourse. (Thanks for the compliment by the way Marc - calling me educated and functional. I tried to put a lot of thought into my posts.) I think I said this before, but the pressure to be articulate when you are a teacher is higher than it is on most people.

If what Palin said about this website only getting about 5,000 hits per day is true, does it even seem worth any company's money to pay some one to come on here and talk to people whose minds are already made up? Or, does it make more sense that I am just bored at work a lot and enjoyed the blog?

What I said in the other thread about the social studies book is true. It's published by Riverside.

I wish there was a blog for educated conversation. All the blogs seem to be extremist views from one end of the spectrum or the other, singles and dating places, or teenagers talking about suicide.

Anyway, again, good luck to you all. I really do wish the best for all of you. If, in the future, another person with different views (I am NOT a Conservative) comes along, don't immediately disregard them as brainwashed/ignorant/shill. Maybe they really do just see things differently.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 11 weeks ago
#23

I have to admit it is kinda nice seeing someone else getting beat up for a change. Matt don't leave me here all alone with them. I am scared. Lol. Alice, why would companies invest their hard earned money to develop things if they can't profit from them. Yes maybe your hard earned taxed dollars helped developed but private companies perfected it. Should they not profit from it?

Alice the government invented duct tape lets say you found a way to make it hold better and where able to produce it for half the the price would you just produce it and sell it for no profit? Of course not.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 11 weeks ago
#24

kgraff -- or as fast as it is a Chattanooga, TN

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 11 weeks ago
#25

Chi Matt -- Do you realize Thom agrees with you? He wants to make the internet a common carrier. You cannot charge more for the fast lanes because you're UPS and charge less because you're FedEx. The real battleground is a the Chattanooga model. The 1% tried to make that model illegal in Kansas (I think, Kansas; it might have been Missouri). Democracy beat them back.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 11 weeks ago
#26

Chi Matt -- Please do not leave.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 11 weeks ago
#27

Kend -- By perfecting it, do you mean the 1% learned how to sell snake oil to bottom 47%? The Chattanooga, TN, model seems like the type of perfecting we need.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 11 weeks ago
#28

Chi Matt -- I do not know how anyone can think you are a conservative shill. The way you describe how the 1% in the retail business treat their workers made me think that you were a deep undercover liberal shill. Again, please do not leave.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 11 weeks ago
#29

ChicagoMatt ~ Hey dude, don't take my off the cuff comment seriously. Whenever someone makes light of the plight of the poor and downtrodden--or freedom of speech--our fangs come out and sometimes we say things we regret. Like now. Don't go.

Also, what is this about someone looking for you? I'm sure that isn't the case. We might get emotional about things and speak harshly but that is it. Who has time for anything more anyway? I wish I had time to say more; however, right now I'm exhausted, filthy, hungry, and just want to eat, shower, and sleep.

If you really believe something is happening to you consider Karma. Remember this scripture:

The Holy Bible: King James Version]

Quote The Gospel According To Matthew: Chapter 15:10 ¶And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:

11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Hope you stick around until I have more time. You really need to take a lesson from Kend, you need thick skin to survive on this blog. However, the effort is worth it. I recommend that anytime you speak, speak as though everyone is listening. Your family, your friends, homeless people, poor people, rich people, dead people, and God. As my mother used to tell me--"The walls have ears!! If you don't have anything good to say about someone, don't say anything at all." Good advice.

Namaste

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 11 weeks ago
#30

Matt, why delete the account?

In early March of last year I got very frustrated with some of the dynamics on this forum, said tah-tah and left for six months. Didn't delete the account; just bailed for awhile. When I finally decided to come back, it was still there waiting for me.

I'm not trying to tell you what to do. I'm just pointing out that you've got other options. After all, this is an open forum. Nobody here has the right to evict you or drive you away. But I won't promise that, should you keep the account and eventually return, we won't still be giving ya a hard time. We love pickin' on guys like you. Just ask Kend. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 11 weeks ago
#31

Marc says to Matt: "…what is this about someone looking for you? I'm sure that isn't the case." Marc, he's responding to something in one of Palin's recent posts. In that post Palin describes doing another one of his bloodhound digs, this time searching for Matt's name among lists of Chicago's teachers.

(I wouldn't get too spooked, Matt. PD's basically harmless; just inquisitive and full of mischief. Right, PD?) - AIW

kasperle's picture
kasperle 8 years 11 weeks ago
#32

Bluntly put Corporation like Netflix are lobbying to push the FCC towards ending internet neutrality. The voice of the people must be louder. One way to let us use our power i to say. NO TO NETFLIX free the internet. Everyone should be cancelling their Netflix subscription to keep the internet as is. THE MOTO "CANCEL NETFLIX KEEP THE INTERNET" should be on every post. The point is to hurt where it is felt. Taking hostage a corporation as a target to publicize our discontentment. I already cancelled y Netflix.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 11 weeks ago
#33

Excellent, "kasperie"! I only wish I was signed up with Netflix, just so that I could cancel the subscription. - AIW

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