What is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality is one of the most important digital rights issues of our time. This is an issue that affects everyone - even those who do not work in the technology sector.
Net Neutrality is the idea that all data on the Internet, regardless of who it comes from, its political affiliation, company, or who’s consuming it, should be treated the same way and should move at the same speed.
Net neutrality is why you can find and access any information you want to. It is also why you can set up your own website (for yourself, for your business, or for anything else) for next to nothing, and still have it available to everyone online.
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Why Should I Care?
Net neutrality means that no matter what, you have the same access to information as everyone else. It also means that it’s easy to make your own voice heard online no matter who you are or what your beliefs are.
Telecoms should not control what you can see - especially since they own their own media networks. Net neutrality makes sure they don’t.
The loss of net neutrality will not be sudden. ISPs will slowly change their service plans to be more restricted and more expensive over time. Over a few years, the Internet will become restricted, closed off, difficult to compete on for people and new businesses, and more expensive.
The FCC voted against net neutrality on December 14th, 2017. The fight for net neutrality is ongoing.
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How Can I Help Net Neutrality?
Remember! Be polite and respectful, but be assertive. Spamming or submitting lewd, racist, or otherwise immoral comments does not help the net neutrality cause. While it may feel warranted, sending hate mail to representatives who are against net neutrality does not help the cause.
The fight for the Internet will be neither short nor easy. It will require persistence. Remember that this is a fight worth fighting for. Don’t sit this one out and especially, don’t give up.
Check if your identity was stolen to fight net neutrality
Identities of people, alive and deceased, were used to comment on the FCC net neutrality proposal without their consent.
- Check if your identity was used: https://ag.ny.gov/fakecomments
- If it was, report it to the New York Attorney General: https://ag.ny.gov/fakecomments-form
Contact your representative(s)
Get in touch the old fashioned way
Tell them that net neutrality with strong Title II classification of ISPs is important to you. You can find who your representatives are using your zipcode on house.gov. Note that hand-written letters and phone calls make the most impact, but emails and faxes help make your voice heard too. You can now do this online at https://www.mailmygov.com/.
Text “resist” to 50409, and a bot will guide you through finding your representatives and will send them a fax with your message on your behalf. This service is free, and you can use it as many times as you want.
Donate to organizations that support net neutrality
These organizations are primed to fight for net neutrality with lawsuits if necessary. They need monetary support.
- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
- Save The Internet from FreePress
- The Center for Democracy
- Fight For the Future
Be part of the public outcry.
- Follow /r/MarchForNetNeutrality, /r/NetNeutrality, and /r/KeepOurNetFree
- Tweet #KeepOurNetFree and #NetNeutrality on Twitter
- Post on Facebook
- Inform your friends, family, colleagues, and strangers - 72% of people don’t understand what net neutrality is or what it means for them, so they don’t know why they should care.
- Join local protests
- Help fight for municipal networks, independent ISPs, and mesh networks in your area
- Make informed decisions in the next election you can vote in. Don’t forget about your local elections!
…and keep doing it! Don’t let the fight die out, and don’t let your elected officials pretend you don’t care.
Contact the FCC
The FCC is required to take public feedback into account regarding their proposals. While the FCC may ignore you, this feedback can be used to support net neutrality in court.
Add a filing to the FCC proceeding on net neutrality
First way (Pre-written letter):
- Go here
- Fill out the form
- Click “next” and follow the rest of the instructions
Second way (Do it yourself):
- Go here
- Click “+Express” towards the right of the page
- Fill out the form. Say that the FCC must protect net neutrality and that strong Title II classification and enforcement of ISPs is important to you.
- Click “Continue to Review Screen”
- Click confirm
Send a certified letter to the FCC
Certified mail is required to be signed for, meaning there is a record that it has been received. Here’s the address
Call the FCC
Their phone number is 1 (888) 225-5322
Articles on this site
- The Net Neutrality Fight is not Over
- Opposing net neutrality threatens the viability of open source communities
- Keep Up with Net Neutrality - Preorder My New Book!
- Go Comment on the FCC Net Neutrality Proposal
- The Fight for the Internet
- What Net Neutrality Is Not
- What a Non-Neutral Internet Might Look Like
- Your Internet Versus Your Privacy
- You Already Paid for Net Neutrality
- How Net Neutrality is Being Undermined
- Protecting Net Neutrality with Regulation
- Your City Can Provide Better, Cheaper Internet
- Innovation and a Neutral Internet
- Net Neutrality and Your Voice
- The Problems with Tiered Internet
- Why Zero Rating Actually Sucks
- How Data Caps Hurt the Internet
- Net Neutrality and Access to Information
- Why Internet Providers Don't Compete
- Explaining Net Neutrality
Resources on the web
- The future of the open internet — and our way of life — is in your hands
- What is Net Neutrality - American Civil Liberties Union
- Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know - savetheinternet.com, Presented By Freepress
- Net Neutrality - Wikipedia
- The Fight to Save Net Neutrality - savetheinternet.com, Presented By Freepress
- What Will a Non-Neutral Internet Really Be Like? - CBS MoneyWatch
- What is net neutrality and what does it mean for me? - USA Today
- Net Neutrality debate: Some insights from countries which have made it into a law - Tech2