Over the past few weeks the fight to preserve net neutrality has taken center stage as the FCC considers ushering in a new age of preferential internet usage. In case you’re not sure what net neutrality is or entails–don’t worry, you’re not alone–Google tells us that net neutrality is defined as “the principle that internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.” Essentially and in short form, eliminating net neutrality as it currently functions would mean that larger internet service providers like AT&T or Comcast could speed up, slow down, or even limit or block your access to certain online content.
While that may not seem outlandish in concept, the elimination of net neutrality has the potential to snowball into some Orwellian-type nightmarish scenarios wherein the government and large corporations would have much more direct control over what we see, say, and do online. Perhaps equally as frightening, a world without net neutrality would also make it much harder for independent artists to stake a claim for themselves online. Sites without the capital to back them exist in droves on the Internet in its current iteration, but with the elimination of net neutrality, while larger companies may be able to afford to pay fees in exchange for faster loading times, independent users may fall by the wayside for lack of funding.
Musicians, many of whom get their start online in this day and age, have spoken out on social media against the rising threat to net neutrality, encouraging fans and music lovers everywhere to speak out, write in, and let their opinions be heard.
— COMMON (@common) November 22, 2017
— Dillon Francis (@DILLONFRANCIS) November 21, 2017
Others have banded together (pun intended) to write in support of legislators fighting to preserve net neutrality. The New Pornographers, Death Cab for Cutie, Speedy Oritz, Ok Go, Califone, and Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah among others all signed a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler expressing their support:
“We know that you will face political opposition and coordinated attacks from well-funded corporations. But isn’t it cooler to have us on your side than some giant ISP? We think so. And we’ll step up to defend your plan because we know it’s the right call, and we know you understand the importance of making it.
So we thank you, Chairman Wheeler. For listening to our perspectives and making some tough but crucial decisions. Now let’s get this thing over the finish line so that today and tomorrow’s artists can continue to enrich our culture and achieve excellence on our own terms” (via Rock the Net).
Have some strong opinions on net neutrality? Use https://www.battleforthenet.com/ to write Congress and find protest locations near you.