This is today’s widely reported news:
The Internet as we know it could change radically on April 23rd.
This information is critically important to all of us who use the Internet for any reason. Please bear with me and read through!
This is a technically complicated issue but it boils down to this: Several months ago, the 3 Republican members of the FCC – the Federal Communications Commission – voted against the 2 Democratic commissioners to end the Internet as we have known it since its inception.
ISPs – Internet service providers, such as Comcast, Time-Warner, Verizon and AT&T, have long wanted to end net neutrality in order to change customers more money, much more. Under current net neutrality rules, everyone who uses the Internet has access to the same websites at more or less the same speeds, depending on their individual plans. It’s like electricity: everyone who pays the bill can flip the switch and the light will go on. You don’t need special service for it to go on quickly. Everyone who uses the Net can access the same websites and the same information. THAT is what may end on April 23rd.
There are many organizations, members of Congress, and governors from about 20 states working to prevent this, but it is an uphill struggle with an uncertain outcome. If you’re interested in reading more, this site is a good place to start.
No one knows exactly what this federal policy change will mean, but many fear that the costs for basic service will go up significantly, and the offerings online will be more like cable TV: you pay for every channel. You may pay extra for access to Facebook, Twitter, and Google, and you may not have access to websites like mine and many other college application information providers. Also, under current law, ISPs are prevented from slowing down or “throttling” service for anyone. Those prohibitions are ending on April 23.
I don’t know what it will mean for me as the owner of this website and as someone who promotes my website throughout the Internet.
I am heartened that about 20 states are attempting to pass net neutrality rules of their own, but this is uncharted territory for everyone involved.
This change has long been popular with the CEOs of Internet service providers – Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, etc.- because they can charge more money for services, but has been hugely unpopular with nearly everyone else, including, I imagine, the employees and families of the CEOs.
I mention this here for the following reason: If you are interested in my services or think that you might be months from now, please contact me now and set up a line of communication at Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com. At the very least, take down my email address and phone number, and keep them in a safe place.
If you do contact me, you are under absolutely no obligation to hire me or contact me again – and I will not contact you – but if you wait until June or July or later, I simply don’t know what the Internet landscape will look like.
I have followed this issue closely for four years, and contributed comments during the FCC comment period under President Obama. Disaster has always been averted at the last minute. I hope that will continue to be the case, but today’s news feels more dire than it has up until now.
Thanks for reading.
Liz@DontSweatTheEssay or call 1-855-99-ESSAY