Reversal of net neutrality harms all of us

"While a slowdown of Stranger Things or make-up tutorials may not inspire you to be upset, consider that all types of information would be impacted by the destruction of net neutrality," Liz Dueweke says. "It is undeniably a social justice and public health issue."

/By Liz Dueweke/ The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, has announced he will call for a vote to kill net neutrality before the end of 2017.

 Even worse, cooperation with big telecommunications companies may result in clauses that would prevent new net neutrality laws in the future. If this hypothetical becomes a reality, that means Maryland would have very few ways to fight back against the elimination of net neutrality.

What is Net Neutrality, and Why Do We Need It?

Net neutrality means that Internet service providers must treat all Internet data the same, regardless of kind, source, and destination. Essentially, a non-profit, a pharmaceutical company, streaming services, a personal blog, and even this website are equally accessible (by all with access to a computer or smart device). In one case of violated net neutrality, Verizon was caught slowing down YouTube and Netflix videos. Pai once worked as a lawyer for Verizon, and protests of the company are planned.internet_infosearch.jpg

While a slowdown of Stranger Things or make-up tutorials may not inspire you to be upset, consider that all types of information would be impacted by the destruction of net neutrality. It is undeniably a social justice and public health issue. People without money to pay premium prices for Internet will lose out on valuable access to services. Social justice organizations without deep pockets will have nearly unusable websites. Small business that rely on websites will be impacted as well. 

This set of images portrays how badly this could go.

What Now?

Call. Call. Call. BattleForTheNet.com will automatically connect you to the key decision makers responsible for stopping the end of net neutrality. They will provide you a script and you can also sign up to be a daily caller.

After calling, tell your friends. You probably know what matters to them, and it likely has a space online. Remind them that what they love (watching movies, viewing pictures of their grandkids, social justice, etc.) could be compromised because of net neutrality.

I used to not have much of an interest in the destruction of net neutrality until I realized it could hurt me.

How will it hurt you? And are you ready to stop it?


Liz Dueweke is a Progressive Montgomery activist.