Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Internet Slowdown: Stop Cable Companies from Extorting Money from Websites

Online access to information is critical to disseminate information on climate change and essential for spreading the word about game changing sustainability innovations. However, this access will be undermined if US cable companies are allowed to extort money from websites. Failure to pay these cable companies could slow access to your favorite sites.

On May 15, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission proposed proposed rules, that would allow cable giants like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon to create a two-tiered Internet, with slow lanes (for most of us) and fast lanes (for wealthy corporations that are willing pay fees in exchange for fast service).

The FCC has left the door open for the only proposal that can preserve Net Neutrality: reclassifying Internet access as a "common carrier" under Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC has opened up a comment period for us to weigh in on its proposal, but it ends on Sept. 15.

The Internet Slowdown is a day to show your support for open access to information in the US. It takes place on September 10. If you value your access to information in a free and open internet find out more and act to oppose efforts to deprive you of valuable sources of information.

As a method of fighting back people are covering the web with symbolic "loading" icons, that are meant to support net neutrality. People are also sending emails and calling lawmakers.

The Internet Slowdown is a day to advocate for free and open Internet, with no arbitrary fees or slow lanes for sites that can't pay. Net Neutrality is the Internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online. Net Neutrality means that the cable/telecom companies must provide us with open networks — and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks.

Without Net Neutrality, startups and small business will be subject to discrimination based on a pay-to-play Internet, and the open Internet and the economic growth it has represented will be at risk.

President Obama has joined more than 4 million people have already spoken out in support of Net Neutrality — more than have ever weighed in on an issue in front of the FCC.

Click here to take action.

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