What do Netflix, Mozilla and Cruzio have in common? If you guessed “all have ties to Santa Cruz,” you’re partly right.* But the more relevant answer today is: we all support Net Neutrality. And along with Google, Amazon, Reddit, Dropbox, and countless other companies who rely on an open internet, we’re all encouraging you to show support, too.
If you’re familiar with the issue, you’re thinking: We’ve talked about Net Neutrality for years. Now it’s being seriously threatened. Public input has been effective in the past. This time, what can we do?
Here are some quick answers:
- If you have a website, display an alert for the day. Cruzio and Santa Cruz Fiber, and many national sites, will have blackout displays.
- If your company has an app, do a push notification. A loss of Net Neutrality could slow down your service.
- Everyone: share on social media.
- Easiest of all: everyone, sign the petition.
This video briefly explains what will happen if the new FCC has its way, and abolishes Net Neutrality rules put in place under President Obama:
Net Neutrality basically prevents the giant phone and cable companies which control most of the internet from favoring content from their own divisions or corporate partners. For example, if a cable company owns a news program, will I be able to watch rival news over that company’s internet?
They’ll let one website load fast, and another slow, not based on the consumer’s preference but on their own business preferences. Not only can those ISPs speed some data up, they can also intentionally slow some other data down.
And we all know, no matter how good a video is, if it keeps buffering and stopping, you won’t want to watch it. The same goes for games, online services like banking or taxes, and other applications.
The new FCC is not only relinquishing its role in protecting Net Neutrality. They’re denying that the FCC has a role at all in governing ISPs. That means they’re relinquishing much of their work in ensuring fair, equitable and ubiquitous access to the internet — which is so important to rural and low-income communities.
Comcast is blanketing social media with the message that “Title II does not equal Net Neutrality.” Well, Title II is the means to enforce Net Neutrality. So that’s like saying enforcing the law does not equal obeying the law. Sure, people might behave well if there were no police, but seriously…
No matter what, Cruzio and many other independent ISPs will continue battling to keep the internet open and equitable. But we’re much more effective with your support.
*Founders of Netflix, Mozilla and Cruzio all included Santa Cruz residents.