Let's talk about Net Neutrality and the Internet Slowdown!
So what's all the fuss about? I'm not so good with this kind of thing, and these folks here say it a lot better than I can, but I'll summarize it for you. If you just want to know what you can do about it, just skip to the bold line "What can be done about it" :33
The Internet has always been a free, relatively un-restricted thing. But now companies like Comcast (NBC), Time Warner, Verizon, and AT&T are trying to put restrictions on the internet, basically putting websites into "Fast" and "Slow" lanes...Generally speaking THEIR stuff gets to load faster while everyone else is put on slow down.
Now, here's a fun fact. Guess who has the fastest internet in the United States? It might surprise you. It's Chattanooga, Tennessee. They have 50 times faster internet than anywhere else in the United States. Know why? Because their local internet is supplied not by the big guys. Nope. Not Comcast or Time Warner. It's a local group who put in their own fiber optic cables and such that are *TONS* faster than the big cable providers. So you know all those claims about Comcast being the 'fastest around'? Not so much. Yeah.
Oh, and you know what else is funny? Other countries in the world have faster internet than the United States. Wanna know why?
Well, one reason is because those countries have laws in place that prevent Big Companies like Commycast and their ilk from putting restrictions like the ones that the above for are trying to actually put in place on OUR internet. Another reason is because they don't have monopolies like Commycast and Time Warner do- and are trying to form as a matter of fact!
So, TL;DR, what does it all boil down to? Money.
Basically: Commycast and their Ilk know that they're a dying breed. They have absolutely *SHITTY* customer service, and they like to keep their grubby little hands all over everything that they can so that they can get their money out of everything and then SPEND that very money fighting to KEEP the money that they're going to lose by fighting to keep it. It's very much a paradoxical nature, this situation. Cable TV? It's slowly being phased out for people preferring the Internet. But that's money out of their pocket that they want to keep in their pockets so they can spend it to keep it in their pockets.
Does it make ANY sense to you lot out there, reading this post, to see the Internet restricted by fast and slow lanes that are arbitrarily decided by how much money you have to spend to get faster speeds? Start ups like Google- and yes, I know, bemoan the evil that is G+, but still, hear me out on this- and other successful internet companies would NEVER have taken off with these kinds of restrictions. Wordpress? Doubt you'd be seeing this site at all without an open internet. How about Steam? Or what about everyone's favorite Netflix? Or Twitch? Or even- when it was still good- YouTube? Would ANY NUMBER of things that we love today even exist without a free and open internet?
What can be done about it?
Speak out. If you haven't already, sign on here, help raise awareness by spreading the word as best as you can. Post a post like this. Or put a banner on your website. Whatever you do- let your voice be HEARD. We stopped monsters like SOPA and PIPA by shouting to the world. We can do it again.
And speaking of SOPA and PIPA, do you wanna know WHY I think they're fighting so hard to put these restrictions on us? Because they're scared. They KNOW what we can do when we unite our voices and they want us SILENCED. They, and like much of their money spending ilk in the world who lobby in politics, want to be the ones to control the masses. Unless we fight to keep our voices, we're going to LOSE it. There's a thing called Citizens United too, that even allowed stuff like this to even happen in the first place. Well, if we can stop fast lanes- we can get that overturned as well. And they're scared that we can do that. They're scared that we can prevent them from spending money to keep that very same money in their pockets.
Well screw that, I say.