The FCC may have voted to kill Net Neutrality. But in the world of custom content creation, we’ve noticed the fight for equal Internet access for all shifting to Congress and the states.
Senate Democrats led by Ed Markey of Massachusetts have amassed 40 co-sponsors for a bill that would invalidate the FCC’s recent decision to allow Internet Service Providers such as Comcast and Verizon to block some websites, slow down others, or speed up data from sites that pay them extra for the privilege.
“Congress has the power through the Congressional Review Act to overturn the FCC’s actions,” Markey said in a news conference last week. “We will spend the coming months building our grass-roots support.”
Lawmakers in six states including California and New York have introduced bills to forbid Internet Service Providers to block or slow down sites, the New York Times reports.
According to the Times:
Bills have also been introduced in Massachusetts, Nebraska, Rhode Island and Washington. The issue has also attracted some support in governor mansions. In Washington, for example, Gov. Jay Inslee reiterated his support for a state law in a speech this week.
“When Washington, D.C., takes away that protection, we must protect net neutrality for our people, for our businesses and for the virtues of free speech,” Mr. Inslee, a Democrat, said.
Independents? Regional chains? Tiny, one-store shops in Middle America? You might fall into the black holes of the internet as these ISPs throttle access to your site or cut you off completely because you can’t afford to pay up for access to the internet’s fast lane. So, the user experience is likely to be shoddy—and that’s if they are even able to find your website in the first place.
Small businesses rely heavily on their stature and self-marketing in the local community. And, even if they haven’t made ecommerce a top priority, they’re ability to get a website up and promote themselves on social media and through other channels on the internet has played at least some role in their marketing efforts. Gutting net neutrality puts the power in the hands of greedy communication firm executives who, with a single swipe, can upend any small business.