Currently led by Trump appointee Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commision (FCC) is considering changing the rules that currently protect internet communications in a non-discriminatory way, rules that are commonly known as "net neutrality."
Net neutrality is the principle that Internet providers like Comcast & Verizon should not control what we see and do online. In 2015, startups, Internet freedom groups, and 3.7 million commenters won strong net neutrality rules from the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The rules prohibit Internet providers from blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization—"fast lanes" for sites that pay, and slow lanes for everyone else.
Pai and the FCC want to destroy net neutrality and give the big cable companies full control over what we see and do online. If these companies get their way, it will allow widespread throttling, blocking, censorship, and extra fees to access certain parts of the internet.
Cable companies are famous for high prices and poor service. Several rank as the most hated companies in America. Now, they're lobbying the FCC and Congress to end net neutrality. Why? It's simple: if they win the power to slow sites down, they can bully any site into paying millions to escape the "slow lane." This would amount to a tax on every sector of the American economy. Every site would cost more, since they'd all have to pay big cable. Worse, it would extinguish the startups and independent voices who can't afford to pay. If we lose net neutrality, the Internet will never be the same.
To show what the internet may look like if this happens, thousands of large sites across the web, will be participating in a Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality. Most sites are posting scary pop-ups intended to alert you of the possibility of a slowed, or blocked site in the future. A few sites will be observing an Internet Blackout Day and will essentially be turned off completely. Viewing NYC will be doing both of these.
For today only (July 12th, 2017), all pages on Viewing NYC will present a popup explaining what Net Neutrality is and why it is important. If you haven't joined the Battle for the Net, please consider providing your email address to stay in the loop as to how you can help stop the large cable companies from destroying the web. We will also be observing the Internet Blackout Day, and will not be posting any articles for the day, aside from this one.
The protections provided by net neutrality are extremely important and critical to each and every person using the internet. We urge you to join the fight to save it.
— Founder, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief
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