The internet is a beast we should never want tamed – and by "beast" I'm not talking about the plethora of cat videos, cat gifs, and cat memes rampant across the net.
I'm talking about the sheer depth of the internet itself that allows us to have equal access to the content we want. Now that neutrality may be threatened in such a way that it will affect all of us.
Here's what you need to know and what you can do, so your favorite kitty video, streaming site, or even games for that matter will work they way they should.
Other Than Being Boring, What Is Net Neutrality?
The name "Net Neutrality" may not evoke excitement, but nonetheless it's an important enough issue that everyone should be made aware. The basics of Net Neutrality can be summed up with an example: If you prefer to watch Netflix over Hulu, an ISP cannot slow down Netflix because Hulu paid them more money. In other words an ISP must remain neutral and provide the same speed across the entire web. Thus, you pay your ISP and you get to browse whatever you want without anyone purposely slowing down or speeding up specific websites.
This also allows for a healthy web economy. If there's a new start up streaming website and YouTube wanted to pay Comcast more money to speed up their website, any other video website would have no chance.
The Federal Commissions Act of 1934 protected Net Neutrality by classifying ISPs under Title I of the Act. However, Verizon successfully sued the FCC and a court ruled: should the FCC wish to continue to regulate ISPs, they should be reclassified under Title II. They did so and Net Neutrality remained in place.
If The New FCC Chair Has His Way, Net Neutrality Will End
#Trump, who has already caused a stir in the gaming industry, may be about to do so again. Earlier this year Trump appointed Ajit Pai as chairman of the FCC, Pai known for his giant Reese's mug, and more importantly wanting to bring an end to Net Neutrality.
Before working for the FCC, Pai was a lawyer for Verizon. As mentioned before, Verizon successfully sued the FCC and had Net Neutrality moved from Title I to Title II.
So former Verizon lawyer wants to move Net Neutrality enforcement from Title II back to Title I where it cannot be enforced. Conflict of interest anyone?
Internet Service Providers Have Already Taken Advantage of Riot Games, Netflix, And Their Customers
Earlier this year a story broke about Comcast-Time Warner Cable not providing the internet speed as advertised in New York. However, Riot Games and Netflix was hit the most.
If you like to play #LeagueOfLegends, live in the New York area, and experienced extended load times and significant lag, there's a reason for this. Comcast-Time Warner Cable actually broke the rules of Net Neutrality and slowed down the speed of Riot Games's website. Comcast demanded that Riot Games and Netlfix pay them more money for access to their users, and sure enough once they did, service improved.
While Comcast lost the lawsuit, if the new FCC chairman gets his way, this type of action would actually be allowed and you have every reason to believe more ISPs will follow the actions of Comcast.
Ready To Answer Oliver's Call To Battle?
John Oliver and Last Week Tonight has brought this issue to our attention again. A few years ago Oliver did a segment on the issue and was successful in having viewers tell the FCC they want Net Neutrality to remain in place and thankfully it did. it proved we, the denizens of the internet have the power to make our government listen to us (sometimes).
If you're on board to take action then all you have to do is go to www.gofccyourself.com and hit "express." Just leave a comment about how you want the FCC to keep things status quo and voila, you saved the internet. Pretty easy right?
If anything else, do it for the kitty!