What do Google, Twitter, Reddit, Twitch, Spotify, Netflix have in common? On some other day, nothing, but today, they’re all fighting net neutrality and using a banner on their website to spread the message.
If you visit any of the major online services like Google, Twitter, Reddit, Netflix and the likes, you’ll be greeted with almost a similar kind of message that asks users to protect the internet and defend net neutrality.
Net neutrality is an important aspect as it keeps the Internet free of monopoly by companies/websites with a deep pocket — helping in making the internet a more diverse and free place.
Internet companies — both big or small — are taking up this initiative as the first deadline for comments on the US Federal Communications Commission’s proposal — hilariously titled ‘Restoring Internet Freedom’ — to roll back the net neutrality rules implemented in 2015 is only a few days away.
“The net neutrality rules that protect the open internet are in danger of being dismantled. Tell everyone that you want to keep the Internet free and open,” Google stated in a blog post to encourage people to stand up against FCC and for net neutrality.
Without net neutrality, no new company will be able to start-up their business without investing a considerable amount of money in the Internet Service Provider’s plans.
“The enforcement regime established in 2015 creates clear enforceable rules that enable federal regulators to stop bad behaviour before it can do damage. Under the alternative enforcement regime that the FCC is considering, the FCC wouldn’t be able to act until the damage had already been done,” Lauren Culbertson, Twitter’s Public Policy Manager, said.
Although there is no certainty that ISPs will take this road, but they have to make money and if more avenues to do just that open up, I’m not sure how long they would be able to hold off.
With net neutrality facing imminent threat under Trump‘s administration as they seek to overturn a decision from the time of President Obama, there is no doubt that citizens need to be made increasingly aware of the perils of Internet without net neutrality in place.
It’s great to see big internet companies — many of which wouldn’t have existed if not for net neutrality — to take part in educating as well as empowering people with information and tool to fight for the freedom on the internet.