Yesterday, the FCC voted to repeal the 2015 Net Neutrality rules. This phrase that has been popular in media recently and there are several misunderstandings of what these rules are. If you would like to learn more about Net Neutrality we have linked several resources that we found useful below for a better understanding of this complicated subject.
Pack Up + Go has been a passionate supporter of Net Neutrality and sees this ruling as an affront to the majority of citizens that spoke out against it. This ruling is a reminder of corporate influence in Washington D.C. being repackaged to the population by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai as an opportunity for increased competition. These rulings allow telecom power players, such as Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon, to give preferential treatment to websites - no longer requiring that they treat all content equally. For individual consumers, this means that you may have to pay different prices for internet speeds based on the content you wish to view online.
In addition to the harmful effects this ruling could have on consumer pricing, the other likelihood is the destruction of the many startups + small businesses that rely on online exposure to stay afloat. All industries who conduct business on the Internet risk being adversely affected by this decision. Here is a example of what could happen to Pack Up + Go, a travel booking website, in a post-Net Neutrality Internet:
“Suppose that without net-neutrality rules, Kayak and Orbitz can pay Internet providers to load their sites faster than the start-up. Impatient customers will quickly give up on the start-up, and it will fail. That means fewer competitors in the travel industry, which could be bad for consumers, who benefit when many companies vie for the lowest prices.” (Borchers, 2017)
Developing innovative processes and increasing consumer choice is the most successful when every person and company has a fair chance. Reversing Net Neutrality rules will only serve those in the market with the money and power to remove any lesser competition - not increase freedom as is currently being claimed.
The Pack Up + Go team would like to remind all of our current, past, and future travelers to remain informed regarding debated topics and speak out to their Congressional representatives to ensure that votes are being made with your interests in mind. In the aftermath of this ruling, the Court System + Congress will be left to decide the outcome of our free Internet. As an American, it is your right to support or denounce Net Neutrality regulations. If having an open Internet that keeps all websites on a level playing field + does not exist solely for profit is important to you, we urge you to exercise that right.