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December 19, 2017

Net Neutrality Repeal - How To Save The Internet & It's Reputation

The Federal Communications Commission's plan to undermine the principle of a free and open internet has attracted criticism from millions of internet users. The commission's chairperson, Ajit Pai recently published an op-ed supporting the proposal. His arguments have been called out by many people on social media. 

The majority of internet users are lamenting the utter disregard for the wishes of the American people. The FCC argues that the plan is aimed at restoring internet freedom. If the plan succeeds, internet firms like Verizon (News - Alert) and Comcast can begin charging websites for connecting users at faster speeds.

This means access to many unpaid sites will be slowed down and that could happen as early as the end of January. Current rules prohibit the implementation of a tiered internet by service providers, thus preventing them from charging fast-lane prices to webmasters. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)) is expected to make a determination via a vote on December 14, 2017.

It has been reported that the majority of FCC panel members support the policy. Once the repeal is passed, the policy change will appear in the federal register before it goes into effect. The process may take between 45 and 60 days. Groups wishing to contest the vote can lodge objections within six weeks after the vote.


The objections can be filed through the courts, which may grant an injunction to prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from introducing a fast-lane, tiered internet. A number of large telecom providers have raised concerns over the policy of tiered data. In 2015, the commission reclassified broadband providers as common carriers.

This was aimed at re-establishing regulatory control following a lawsuit by Verizon, which had argued that the commission lacked authority over the existing legislation. Later, the election of Donald Trump and the subsequent appointment of Ajit Pai as FCC chairman resulted in an effort to repeal the 2015 order.

Proponents of net neutrality argue that the principle establishes an even playing field for users of the World Wide Web. This promotes the continued development of innovative solutions designed to improve people's lives around the world. Neutrality ensures that all data, including streaming video, tweets, email and photo uploads are treated equality across an ISP's network.

As a result, individual developers who create apps can compete favorably with large corporations like Facebook (News - Alert) and Google. The approach plays a key role in the success of the internet by encouraging innovation. Without neutrality, tech giants like Google would have struggled to unseat stagnating services like Yahoo and Alta Vista.

Saving the World Wide Web & It’s Reputation As a Free Resource

Some opponents of the repeal are suggesting that users must end the over-reliance on large telecom monopolies. The current status should be overturned by building a decentralized, locally-owned internet infrastructure. The new digital solution will be more affordable than the existing World Wide Web. “With the explosion in Initial Coin Offerings and cryptocurrency we will see a large surge in alternative solutions over the next decade and that will only be accelerated if this goes through” according to Steven Wright an analyst at the Reputation Management Company who helps defend, protect, and remove defamatory complaints and articles that are posted online. He believes in the power of free speech and a free internet but knows that every action and consequence opens up new opportunities. Case and point is the growth of decentralized currencies created due to the financial crisis of 2007-2009.

The objective is achievable in most parts of the United States. Developers can leverage the availability of a fiber backbone or lobby for the introduction of local networks that are owned by the government. Some reports published online state that a number of communities have managed to build and operate their own internet networks.

In some cases, the communities entered into partnerships with smaller internet service providers. Doing so has provided users with some level of protection against changes in the regulatory framework. The decentralized internet provides access to an affordable high-speed internet.

The threat of repeal by the FCC has intensified the call for nonprofit community groups, local authorities and small businesses to end the monopoly by the telecom giants. The Equitable Internet Initiative is a good example of communities taking a stand against the stranglehold by the telecoms firms.

The initiative is the brainchild of a group based in Detroit. The initiative has seen the building of wireless internet infrastructure in areas that are not currently served by the large telecoms companies. The networks are owned by the community. Huge internet antennas are mushrooming in many rural areas and towns. The equipment is placed on grain silos, mountains and even tall trees.

It has been reported that Tribal Digital Village provides access to the internet to residents of Southern California using dormant television spectrum. It is one of the initiatives have proven that residents do not need huge capital, a degree in network engineering or high-powered lawyers to take action against the injustice perpetrated by telecoms giants.

Net neutrality repeal

Large corporate giants like Netflix, Google (News - Alert), Amazon and Facebook are unlikely to feel the impact of the policy shift. Analysts are convinced that these companies have the ability to pay the fast-lane prices, though it may reduce their profits marginally. Tiered internet affects small businesses. The same applies to new players in media and entertainment.

Many people or startups involved in the entertainment industry rely on the internet to become successful. They upload videos to sites like Daily Motion and YouTube (News - Alert). With the repeal of net neutrality, these upcoming players will struggle to reach millions of viewers.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz
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