US Congress is getting ready to decide if we will have any Net Neutrality rules at all. If the proposed bill passes it will not only repeal the FCC's current rules, but also prevent the FCC from making any net neutrality rules in the future. Without government-backed Net Neutrality rules ISPs will be free to pick and choose which websites work and which websites don't.
The Internet Strikes Back is a day - February 17th - where we are asking the Internet to call your Representative and tell them how important Net Neutrality is.
Go to www.TheInternetStrikesBack.org to find out more, get a button for your website, and even sign up to participate in advance. If you sign up in advance, you will get a text message on the 17th that will automatically connect you with your Representative.
What does this have to do with me? I hear you asking.
Once ISP's have the power to throttle or open the network based on content it means they will start demanding money from sites for high speed access and making deals to choke competitors.
If suddenly a competitor to a web service you use, be it Shapeways, Vimeo or BitTorrent started choking the service it could completely cripple the site, imagine waiting 4 times as long for your content to upload/download?
The barrier to entry for internet start-ups like Kickstarter,Shapeways and Etsy would be raised to the point where many great ideas would never be realized.
Once the proposed bill is passed it can NEVER be turned back!!!! Click the image below to take action...
Thanks again to Michael Weinberg of Public Knowledge for pointing this out, let's not let it happen.
"The FCC took over wire communication regulation from the Interstate Commerce Commission. The FCC's mandated jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions. However, the FCC also provides varied degrees of cooperation, oversight, and leadership for similar communications bodies in other countries of North America. The FCC has a 2009 proposed budget of $466 million which is funded by $1 million in taxpayer appropriations and the rest in regulatory fees. It has 1,899 "full-time equivalent" federal employees."
I got that from Wikipedia... Wikipedia may not be available to me if it gets "choked" out of existence. I live in Canada. What affects the US affects the world in one way or another, like it or not.
In some countries (primarily communist or dictatorship countries) practices like this are already in place. In said countries communication is filtered for political reasons. In the good old US, the ISP's want to be more like tv. Advertisers pay the network to play their commercials, and consumers pay to see what the networks want us to see. The ISP's want websites to pay them to be supported on their network, and us the consumers to pay to see what they want us to see. So no commercialism is not communism. They just do the same things for different reasons.
I think this is important as Shapeways is trying to achieve is based on an open, unrestricted internet. If you feel this is too far off topic, my apologies.
U.S. users may not know this is currently being discussed, but they are the only ones with the power to have their voice heard, and only for a short time.
The ramifications are huge and could effect the entire internet for a long time.