The United States Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved its revised net neutrality plan in a 3-2 vote. Now, for the first time, the full proposal documenting the controversial plan that many fear will ruin the Internet is available to read in its entirety.
“Net neutrality” should naturally describe a set of guidelines put in place in an effort to ensure that the Web is kept neutral, and that certain companies are not given an unfair advantage over others. To read the FCC’s plan, however, one wonders if the Commission had the exact opposite intention in mind — a vision of creating an Internet specifically designed to give large companies a huge advantage over smaller companies.
The proposal covers a great deal of ground, but there is one area in particular that has people worried.
According to the FCC’s new net neutrality guidelines, Internet service providers will be able to create “fast lanes” for certain companies that are willing to pay for quicker connections. This means that when their services are accessed by end users, the connections will be nice and smooth. When a customer tries to access the services of companies not willing or able to pay for a fast lane, however, the service could be much slower.
If you’re wondering how exactly that plan would make the Internet “neutral,” you’re not alone. And as we’ve seen, the FCC’s controversial plan is already ruining the Internet.
This newly approved net neutrality proposal now enters a period of public comment from now until September, when the Commission will theoretically take into account comments it receives over the next few months and create a final set of rules.
If you oppose the FCC’s plan, this period of time is crucial.
There are several ways you can make your voice heard. Start by reading the FCC’s proposal in its entirety, and then read this post. You can (and should) also email the FCC with your thoughts by following the instructions here.
Most importantly, you can also participate in the public comment process by submitting your comments on the FCC website. Use this simplified form if you would like to type out a short comment, or use this separate form if you’d like to attach a file with a longer comment.
Only one thing is certain: Doing nothing will get you nowhere.
The FCC’s full 99-page net neutrality proposal is embedded below.
By Zach Epstein