The internet as we have known it is very soon to disappear.
Up until now, if the URL was valid, it would be loaded exactly as fast as any other valid URL on the internet (technical limitations accounted for) -- it did not matter what the destination or content of the URL was: they were all 'neutral.'
Soon, ISPs [Internet Service Providers] will be able to remove, restrict or add pay-walls to URLs that used to be 'neutral' -- this site, included.
Soon, 5 ISPs (covering >90% of American internet users) will control the infrastructure of the internet in the US, and will be free to charge whatever they wish to any potential competitor who would need to use their infrastructure -- permitting prohibitively exorbitant 'piggybacking' fees, effectively pricing out any potential rivals. Creating 'new infrastructure' (the ‘innovation’ in the argument by those championing de-regulation) is beyond the capacity of virtually any serious investor, apart from the state; even GOOGLE* has taken 7 YEARS to get Fiber into just 9 MARKETS in the US. *[In 2012, Goldman Sachs estimated Google would need $140 BILLION to provide the whole US with services; it had $45B in assets at the time, ie. ~30% of that value. (http://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-it-would-cost-google-to-build-a-cable-network-2012-12)]
The FCC has, to this point, disregarded the comments of over TWO HUNDRED MILLION Americans, and may even have engaged in criminal activity by impersonating citizens to present the appearance of favor for eliminating the so-called ‘Net-neutrality’ that had arisen through purely organic market forces before it was codified in 2015, now facing repeal.
**If you think this problem faces only the US, you are gravely mistaken.**
The US now sets precedence for other countries to follow, and most dangerously so those countries with fragile or no real democracy; those countries with the greatest need for a free and unobstructed press, the fourth pillar of any vital democracy, and the only means to speak truth to power with efficacy.
If you too are concerned, you should be. And if you are not, **YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED**.
Indeed, you ARE concerned, whether you acknowledge it or not.
So now, my question for “Constructive Adult Discussion”…what can be done about this? What SHOULD be done? What SHALL you do?
The US faces a vote on Net Neutrality on Dec 14th (voice your concerns with your representatives; good start here only registered users can see external links ); take whatever action you can, in your country.
Can YOU decide what the internet will look like tomorrow?