Today Is Internet Slow-Down Day

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Net neutrality has been a hot topic here at NMR and around the web for months now. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed changes to its own rules governing the internet service providers, companies like ComCast and Verizon who provide internet service, can regulate or even censor the web. Today, a number of website and internet companies including Tumblr, Netflix, and Reddit are participating in an organized protest known as Internet Slow Down Day in an effort to draw attention to the threat to the internet as we know.

If you’re planning to binge watch some Netflix or scroll your Tumblr dash today you should expect to see lots of spinning wheels and buffering. Internet companies will voluntarily slow down their service in order to simulate what could happen under the FCC’s proposed plan. The new rules would give internet service providers the right to create “fast lanes,” tiers of service offering faster download speeds for certain types of content . Many internet businesses and activists fear that the proposed “fast lanes” would discriminate against content from independent creators who could not afford to pain the ISP’s toll.

Several YouTube creators have joined the fight post videos to help further educate the public. Hank Green and the SourceFed team among others have posted multiple videos explaining the importance of protecting the neutral net. Independent video creators are at particular risk since their popular content would likely be placed in a higher tier under the new rules. Users would then have to pay a premium in order to access that content at a reasonable download speed or video platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and DailyMotion would need to pay a tariff to the ISPs in order to make their content widely available.

Lizzie Bennet Star Ashley Clements weighs in on Tumblr’s effots on behalf of the neutral net
 

 

In addition to the slowdown participating sites have posted messages to educate their users about the importance of net neutrality along with suggestions for how they can contribute to the cause. Users are urged to reach out to their congressmen and women or to contact the FCC directly. The organization has extended the deadline for public comment on its proposed rule changes and the more citizens weigh in favor of net neutrality the better.

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What can you do to help?
You can comment on the FCC’s new rules and let them know that you’re in favor of preserving net neutrality and reclassifying broadband providers as “common carriers.” That would make them utilities like the telephone and power companies, meaning they would be unable to charge differently for internet service depending on what you use it for.

You can also give the FCC a call or shoot them an email. If you plan on emailing, we recommend FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, the former CABLE INDUSTRY LOBBYIST responsible for these new rules that benefit THE CABLE INDUSTRY.

You can also call or write to your congressman. If you’re not sure who that is, this handy site will help you find out using only your zip code.

If that seems like too much work, you could always just tweet your congressman with the hashtag #NetNeutrality. Twitter has curated this convenient list of congressional representatives verified twitter accounts just for this occasion. https://twitter.com/verified/lists/us-congress/members