Pay-to-play for Internet?

20140506_fcc_blogComcast, Verizon, and other telecommunications conglomerates want to make the Internet open to the highest bidder, and it’s time to say no.

On May 15, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will propose new Internet rules that could have a major impact on “net neutrality”– the idea Internet Service Providers (ISPs) cannot discriminate against certain web traffic.

Net neutrality was effectively destroyed in January, when a federal appeals court struck down the “Open Internet Order” that allowed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate ISPs and preserve the free Internet.  As you may remember, CUB asked the FCC at that time to re-classify ISPs as “common carriers,” which would once again be under the agency’s regulation.

Chairman Wheeler has since stated that the FCC won’t reclassify ISPs, but that he will instead propose new rules to preserve net neutrality.

But from what we’ve seen, these rules could do the exact opposite.  The proposed plan could allow ISPs to create an Internet “fast lane,” in which big websites like Amazon and Netflix could pay a toll to gain faster speeds.  That means every-day Internet users could end up paying more to cover these tolls.  And other website companies that don’t pay the toll could be discriminated against, forcing their customers to suffer slower speeds!

The FCC has specifically requested consumer input on this issue, so now is the time to make your voice heard.  Send a message to the FCC: Keep the Internet free and open!

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