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The Battle for the Internet

Hate this symbol?

We do, too.  But if Big Cable has its way, you’ll be seeing a lot more of it.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T are already famous for bad customer service and exorbitant prices.  Now they want to take on the their last competitor–the free Internet. The giants want to charge websites arbitrary fees to avoid crawling speeds.

But there’s a lot of fight left! To protest corporate attacks on “net neutrality,” CUB is joining with consumer advocates across the country for the #InternetSlowdown on Wednesday. That’s the final day the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is accepting comments on its net neutrality proposal, so this is your last opportunity to demand: Save the Open Internet!

Net neutrality–the principal that ISPs cannot discriminate against certain web traffic– may sound like a mouthful, but it is undoubtedly one of the most important issues of our day.  Here’s why:

ISPs want to be able to charge websites for faster speeds and higher quality–essentially creating Internet “fast” and “slow” lanes for web content.  That means the information and entertainment that reaches you–from YouTube to CNN–will depend on how much that site has paid.  As a consumer who pays to be able to access all web content equally and freely, this is unacceptable. (Want more info, and a good laugh? Check out John Oliver’s hysterical rundown on net neutrality.)

FCC officials say their proposed plan, introduced in May 2014, is intended to protect net neutrality. But we’re concerned it actually does the opposite.  The document would allow ISPs to offer “paid prioritization” for high-speed, high-quality Internet access–in other words, ISPs could charge sites an arbitrary price for better service. Say goodbye to net neutrality, free competition, and the open Internet?

Companies from Netflix to Etsy to Reddit have all joined the #InternetSlowdown today (read Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson’s piece on why the end of net neutrality would kill American small business.)

Now is your time to act.  If you haven’t already, send a message to the FCC: Keep the Internet free and open!