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Unread 07-11-2017, 11:30 PM   #1
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Please join the day of action for net neutrality.

Imagine this:

Leboman awakens suddenly from a dream, in which he experiences a very important revelation about the true top ten albums of 1986. The next morning, he eagerly logs on to CGR -- using the services of his trusty local ISP, WarnerCox -- to share the news. Or he tries to, anyway. Instead of loading the forum, however, all he sees is this:


He posts in the Facebook group to see if anyone else is having trouble. He's not alone, since Ben Toast can't log on either, but dogfood says it's fine from sunny Fiji. After chatting about it, Lee and Ben realize they're both WarnerCox customers.

It turns out that WarnerCox Global, Inc. bought up Record Label Megacorp two months ago, which had just merged with Musician's Pal, Ltd., which has twelve different musician-related websites under its umbrella, one of which is UltimateGuitar.com. And now WarnerCox is making sure that UltimateGuitar.com loads quickly for its customers, but all other guitar tab websites run super slow.

Mara hasn't seen any of this conversation, because her ISP, Verisonicpotle Wireless, doesn't care about guitar tab websites, but they are mad at Facebook, who just outbid them for a new app that's like Uber but for cats. Facebook has run slow on her internet ever since, so she hardly ever checks it these days.

Meanwhile, Art sees the conversation on Facebook (which has no corporate drama with his ISP, ATCast) and tries to log on for himself. Instead, he just sees this:



That's CGR without net neutrality.



Alright, maybe it won't be that dramatic. But this is a big deal for the future of the internet.

Net neutrality is the basic principle that there should be no paid prioritization of websites online: that internet providers should treat websites as equal, and not slow down websites owned by competitors in order to speed up services run by their parent company's other subsidiaries. Internet in the United States is dominated by a few major ISPs, with deep pockets, bad customer service reputations, and a desire to first and foremost make money. Without a strong legal framework preventing them from doing so, ISPs have a major incentive to create "fast lanes" for content they favor, and pressure websites to pay them for priority service to customers. That results in major companies with money to pay for priority service passing on the cost to you (like Netflix), while small upstart companies might just fail right away if they can't pay for service.

Without getting too in the weeds legally, the FCC passed strong regulations to ensure net neutrality in 2015, placing ISPs under Title II categorization. The 2016 presidential election also meant the appointing of a new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, who wants to undo these regulations. Here's a list of companies that want to keep net neutrality - you'll recognize a lot of websites you use on a regular basis. Who wants to get rid of net neutrality? Mostly internet service providers, like Comcast and Time Warner.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has put together a handy tool to make it easy to submit comments to the FCC in support of net neutrality. You can visit it here. This isn't limited to Americans - while the FCC might pay more attention to Americans' comments, internet users all over the world should be concerned about this, since so many of the websites we use every day are based in the US.

If you're here on CGR, your life has benefitted from a free and open internet without paid prioritization. A scrappy little site like this could not thrive without net neutrality.

Hundreds of websites are organizing tomorrow, July 12, for a day of action to protect net neutrality. Please join the conversation.

These are my views as a private citizen who cares about the internet and knows a fair bit about how it's regulated. They aren't necessarily the views of the CGR admin team or ownership, or my current employer (which shall remain nameless here because General Discussion is search-indexed, kthx).[/lawyer]

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Unread 07-12-2017, 04:01 AM   #2
and you were wondering??
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This is amazing.

Super informative post on why we need net neutrality.

Thanks for this, mtl.
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Unread 07-12-2017, 08:54 AM   #3
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FWIW...I DO know the true top ten albums of 1986 but ya'll ain't ready for that kind of knowledge yet.
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Unread 07-12-2017, 09:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leboman
FWIW...I DO know the true top ten albums of 1986 but ya'll ain't ready for that kind of knowledge yet.
I just wanted to make this as realistic as possible.
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Unread 07-12-2017, 04:31 PM   #5
now a spiced muffin.
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signed a petition. here's hoping our voices can still be heard.

i have experienced throttling and it is THE WORST.

also i am a teleworker and have to supply my own internet, and i'll be darned if i get charged up the nose just to do my dang job!!!!
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Unread 07-12-2017, 10:17 PM   #6
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By the way, Lee totally took the bait and made the list of his top albums of 1986. You can read it here, BUT you have to send your comments to the FCC first! The comment period is still open, so keep telling the FCC how you feel.
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Unread 07-13-2017, 06:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtlmouth View Post
By the way, Lee totally took the bait and made the list of his top albums of 1986. You can read it here, BUT you have to send your comments to the FCC first! The comment period is still open, so keep telling the FCC how you feel.
FWIW...I have signed the petition.

I'm silly but have my serious side.

Also...I have posted another 1986 list.

Sign the petition folks.
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Unread 07-16-2017, 11:21 PM   #8
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I signed a few petitions between 2013 and 2015 for the net neutrality law that was passed then. It makes me sad that this could be undone. Net neutrality is critical for so many small business. My mom just launched a website for her boutique in North Carolina and without net neutrality she could lose her ability to expand her market to the internet, and by consequence, her business altogether.
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