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Literally Saving the Internet


Hey, while I don't necessarily have much time to write a long article about this topic right now, I want to share something that's become very important recently. For those of you who haven't been keeping up with the news lately, net neutrality has become a hotly-debated topic, especially since the FCC's new "fast-lane" plan.

Net neutrality is good. Fast lane plans (more aptly named "toll road" plans) or just plain not having net neutrality is bad. What it boils down to is prohibiting ISPs from throttling traffic for various reasons such as type of content (video streaming like Netflix, p2p torrenting, etc) or amount of bandwidth used. This is already in place for other common utilities such as water, heating, electricity, and even phone service. Your power company can't stop or throttle service if you use a ton of electricity, and your phone company can't drop calls if you call too much.

I've "created" (meaning I spent 3 and 1/2 minutes on) a website that contains a video that explains net neutrality so well even a five year old could understand it. It's much easier than sharing the YouTube video itself. You can find it here: protectnetneutrality.com.

It's worth sharing because not having net neutrality negatively affects nearly everyone. For the non-tech folks, it means that the company that provides your internet (like Comcast) can cause stuff like Netflix to stream very slowly—that means a lot of wait time while the video constantly loads in the middle of scenes and bad video quality. For the tech folks, it means that startups will be harder to fund and large bandwidth usage could be a cause for drastically slowed internet speeds.

Over 100 large tech companies, including Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Twitter have all written their support for net neutrality. I'm center-right, and on most issues I want the government to take a very hands-off approach. But internet access is becoming one of the primary means of spreading information, and sooner or later it'll become standardized as a human right (fyi: it already is in some countries). Also, ISPs have monopolies on internet access. Monopolies are inherently anti-free markets, especially when they're "sanctioned" by the government because they've spent massive amounts of money lobbying for the ability to monopolize markets.

If you missed it, here's the website again: protectnetneutrality.com.

edit: it seems if you add "www." to the URL it returns an error. I'll fix that as soon as I can. Until then, use the naked URL (i.e. that is, without "www.")

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