Net Neutrality - take action or lose another freedom July 12, 2017 by Paul Byrne Most Americans don’t understand why their choices of ISPs are so paltry. The average American household has less than 2 choices for high speed internet while the average European household has 5 or more. Why is this so? It comes back to the 1996 congress getting it wrong. It’s hard to blame them because the internet was new and few really understood it. When considering the TCA, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, congress had two choices from a regulatory standpoint. High speed internet (more than 250Kbps… yeah, that’s a K, not an M) at the time was slowly rolling out across the US. It was assumed that lots of coax (yep, that’s what we used back then) was going to have to be laid in order to provide broadband internet to consumers. Telecommunications firms were reticent to do so because of the cost, what they called the “last mile problem” at the time. Congress’s solution to speed up the roll out of high speed internet was to protect ISPs from competition, with no expiration. This act, based on the technology of 1996 (actually, it is even behind the times for 1996, but, that’s what we have come to expect from our government), became obsolescent after 5 to 10 years of innovation in the networking sector. Since then, it has served as a way to protect ISPs from competition. It’s really amazing when you think about ISPs being offered protection in the same era that we finally deregulated phone service. If you are old enough to remember how much phone service and long distance was in the 1980s before deregulation, it’s hard to understand why congress went down this path. Chances are it had to do with money. Congress and our President, want to pull away the regulations from the monopolies they have created. It’s not hard to understand given the amount of money ISPs are given to our congressmen. It’s a pure sell out. It’s bad for America, and we need to make our voices heard. Our government needs to make a choice. If you want to allow ISPs to sell our information and decide what internet services should be available to us, then, Congress, you need to open the market up to competition. That way, consumers can choose the ISP with the policy that they like best. If they want to get service from a company that throttles their traffic and sells their information, they can. If they want an ISP that respects their choice and privacy, they can choose that one. The consequences are weightier than just streaming Netflix or getting faster Google results. If the FCC succeeds in implementing these new rules, it will create yet another corruption pipeline. The ISP monopolies' profits will balloon. They will use some of this money to lobby and buy even more protections from congress. Your choices and the affordability of your internet service will continue to lag behind the rest of the developed world. This has happened in everything from Health Insurance to hair braiding. Please join Razoyo and other like-minded lovers of freedom in making your voice heard.