Vimeo is joining the chorus of activists and corporations who are calling on the FCC to protect the open internet and maintain the concept known as net neutrality. With the deadline for public comment on the FCC’s new internet rules just hours away, Vimeo is calling on the public to voice their support for net neutrality. A post on the video platform’s staff blog outlines all the reasons why both consumers and services like Vimeo have benefitted from a free and open internet.
As is usual in a case where corporations wade into prominent political issues, the company’s statement is motivated partially by ethics and partially by profits. Services like Vimeo are at particular risk if internet service providers and broadband companies are allowed to create a tiered internet as the FCC’s current recommendations suggest. Streaming video sites would be some of the hardest hit because they offer some of the most popular content on the internet, therefore providers would have an incentive to make consumers pay more for it, limiting Vimeo’s potential audience.
However, Vimeo’s plea also comes with a hint of social concern. The post notes that under the current recommendations broadband providers are able to control what parts of the internet we see. This could enable corporations to silence any content that is unfavorable to them, or at least place it out of the reach of most internet consumers by charging a higher price for it. Allowing the corporation that provides your internet service to decide what you get to see is basically the model employed by present day cable companies.
Vimeo ends their post by encouraging members of the community, which in this case includes every person on the internet, to voice their support for an open internet via the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Battle for the Net, both of which provide forms to make sharing your comments easier and more convenient.
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