Last week, there was talk that the FCC had chosen a late November date to vote on rolling back Obama-era net neutrality regulations. These turned out to be rumors, but they still underscored the severity of the present situation. Read on to learn more about what is at stake.
No Vote on Net Neutrality, Yet
After there was a flurry of allegations and accusations that the Trump FCC would be voting in late November to remove the 2015 net neutrality measures, the FCC confirmed that any such vote would be preceded by a three week notice.
There are other important measures on the commission’s docket, but nothing with quite the gravity of net neutrality. There are some interesting items preparing for a vote, and it’s still worth your while to follow these proceedings. Most of these items actually bolster the nation’s current telecommunications infrastructure, and are rather agreeable. Even these are worth paying attention to, if only because citizens should be involved in the state of their nation.
However, any emails with eschatological overtones that you may have received claiming the end of times for net neutrality may have been preemptive.
Just because these were rumors doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take notice
Government agencies vote on everything. The process is often dry, boring, and discourages active engagement. However, we cannot let this create a disconnect between ourselves and the decisions being made on our behalf. Too easily, it can feel like a lot of what is happening in this debate is being done to us, but we have to remember that we all have the ability to raise our concerns and voice our opinions. Doing so requires that we stay informed, up to date, but also correct. Spreading rumors of something that isn’t going to happen is a great way to become the boy who cried wolf. When we really need to be loud, when we really need to worry, some may not believe us.
All of that being said, even though this vote is not happening in November and we will have at least three weeks to make our concerns known before it does, we don’t need to wait until then. The fight for a free and open internet is also the fight for your rights as both citizens and human beings to free speech. There is still time to openly oppose attacks on net neutrality such that there may not even need to be a vote.
Meanwhile, we are also seeing what life is like in nations where net neutrality is not protected. Put briefly: it’s a nightmare of additional costs and crowded pages. If you live in a nation where these rights are protected and are feeling secure that it won’t happen to you, remember that it very well may. This is a fight for all of us – those who are currently affected, those who are seeing net neutrality threatened, and those who may see threats at their doorstep in the future. Don’t buy into rumors, but be sure to act in your own and your fellow citizens’ best interests.