This content was originally published on LinkedIn July 16, 2014. It’s been updated and re-posted here because the issue of #netneutrality has come up yet again. And, because discussing this issue here and now is consistent with the concept of Abundance for all
Why is #NetNeutrality such a huge issue?
Let’s say you’re a local property damage restoration company.
It’s a very competitive field. In order to stay in business, you took to the internet and began to educate business owners, property managers, and homeowners about what to do with all kinds of property damage. And, you provide helpful information and resources on your blog. That means your blog has been able to help people both locally and nationally in times of crisis. And, your business has been able to compete with much larger businesses in the industry because you’ve been able to “get found” on Google. Because of an open and free internet.
Or, let’s say you’re a small gift shop.
During the depths of the crash that began in 2008, gift stores closed by the thousands. With limited disposable income, businesses and individuals just didn’t have as much money to spend on gifts. But, there are always those folks looking for a unique way to express their sympathy or gratitude and connection to others with a personalized gift. As a small gift shop, you were able to stay open because you were able to “get found” because of the open and free internet.
Or, let’s say you’re a non-profit organization like the Salvation Army or the American Red Cross.
You respond to all sorts of horrible crises all over the world. You’ve used all the available social channels to keep people informed. And, when family members have been separated, you helped them get re-united because of the open and free internet.
Or, let’s say you’re a brilliant high school student with an idea to solve a huge health care problem: pancreatic cancer.
Because you use all your spare time to research the problem, you found a solution and developed medical testing that eluded the top medical minds for years. Because of the free and open internet.
#Netneutrality is the free and open internet. It allows businesses, students, and non-profit organizations to solve some of the biggest problems we face today.
It is the essence of free speech because anybody can say anything without censure on the free and open internet.
And, it’s one of the biggest tools small and medium sized businesses use in order to get their goods and services to the people who need them.
The problem is, there is a plan to take the internet as we now know it away.
The plan is to sell internet access to corporations. They’d get to control the amount and speed of information you would be able to access. How? Simply by charging you more and more for the services you now enjoy without cost. Here’s what it would look like:
If this happens, it will limit your ability to find information, connect with people, donate to non-profit organizations, and research solutions to problems.
Once net #neutrality goes away, it will never come back. And, once they implement the new plan, it will cause economic and social devastation that will take years from which to recover. If we ever do.
You’re that high school kid with a great idea. But your ability to research and connect with other like-minded scientists is limited because you can’t pay the tariffs to access the data you need. Your access to the amount and speed of information is limited by your inability to pay for it.
You’re that family with a daughter caught in a typhoon in the Pacific. And you can’t find out if she’s still alive through the websites of the American Red Cross or Salvation Army because you don’t have enough band-width to access their site, because you couldn’t afford to pay for it.
You’re a small business. And now, you can’t provide information and emergency services because you can’t “get found” on the internet during a crisis like Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Sandy. All because your potential customers couldn’t afford to pay for it.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
The end of #NetNeutrality will affect virtually every industry across the world. (Can you think of one industry it wouldn’t?)
But, the sad thing is, most people won’t do anything right now to stop it.
There’s an old saying. “We never really know or appreciate what we have until we don’t have it anymore.”
Don’t let that be you.
Until Thursday, December 14th you can let your voice be heard in support of #NetNeutrality.
Please, take a moment. Let your comments be heard. Call your members of Congress now at 202-224-3121.
Or, contact the members of the FCC here:
Remember: It may be your job you save!