On more for the services you already

On December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote to implement the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which would roll back Net neutrality, federal regulations put on Internet Service Providers (ISP). Eliminating these consumer protections is devastating for all users of the internet, especially small businesses and marginalized communities.Net neutrality prevents ISPs from giving preferential treatment to websites. Without it, companies like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast could slow down or block access to the websites of their competition. They could censor political opinions that they disagree with.As long as we’ve known it, the internet has been a free and open marketplace that promotes job growth, competition and innovation. You can visit any website without fearing that ISPs are restricting access to information they don’t want you to see. Net neutrality is an expectation.If the proposed repeal goes through, ISPs get to decide who is heard and who isn’t. Minority communities have long used the internet to organize social movements to fight back against discrimination. Net neutrality prevents their message from being blocked, allowing people to organize and assemble protests.Startups and small businesses won’t be able to afford to compete online with major corporations. The internet is already very much monopolized and increasingly consolidating. A handful of media companies are responsible for most of the business that is generated online and for the internet service that nearly every American relies on.Rolling back the current protections would give control of the internet back to companies that have a history of abusing their power. There is nothing that remotely benefits consumers. What you can expect is to pay more for the services you already have.A vote against Net neutrality is a vote against free speech and equality on the internet, which only leads toward more systemic racism, stereotypes and inequalities. My fear is that the centralization of media will become normalized. A select few controlling the message is very dangerous.Despite public outcry and the numerous tech giants that support it, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is going forward with the plan to kill Net neutrality. On December 14th, the free and open internet as we’ve always known it could be eliminated.You can join the fight to save Net neutrality here.