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One Click = $1 To Help Save Net Neutrality – ThinkGrowth.org

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Seriously, it’s just one click

Here’s the easiest thing you can do today to help defend Net Neutrality:

  • 💚 Click on the heart icon to recommend this post (1 second). A donation of US $1 will be made for every upvote received, details below.

And a few other ways to get involved:

  • Sign the petition on change.org (10 seconds). It’ll help. Those folks are great at mobilizing movements and there are already 22,000 signatures on that petition.
  • ☎️ Call your senators and representatives (3 minutes). https://www.savetheinternet.com/sti-home
  • 💪 Join the protest (boss level). You can find more information at https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12/

If you’re interested in the details, read on.

Warning: There are no House of Cards spoilers in here — but there are a couple of feeble attempts at humor. You were warned.

What the the heck is Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) and governments regulating the Internet should treat all data on the Internet the same and not discriminate or charge differentially based on user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication. In practice, this means that ISPs would not be allowed to favor their own services over those of another provider.

For example, you love Netflix, right? Of course you do. I do too. I spent a lot of this weekend binge-watching House of Cards.

Now let’s say there’s some big cable/telecomm/Internet company called BombCast. And, you just happen to be a customer (because you didn’t have much choice in your area — that’s a topic for another day).

Now, BombCast decides that they too want to get into this whole “we can make shows that people love even though we can’t fix our technical support that people hate” game. So, they start making their own shows about [insert thing that you find banal/boring here]. “If people want to watch that crap, fine,” you think, “to each their own.”

But, with the absence of net neutrality, BombCast could decide: “Hey, you know, we don’t really want to stream Netflix content to our customers. Or, because of things our accountants said we should do, and our lawyers said was not illegal, we’re going to stream Netflix at a quarter of the speed. LET THEM HAVE BUFFERING VIDEO ON NETFLIX!”

Without Net Neutrality, cable/internet companies can discriminate against individual content providers, and the odds are pretty good that they will. It’s not a theoretical problem. It’s a very real one.

And, the discrimination doesn’t just have to be based on who is providing the content. It could be based on which device you’re using.

Why is Net Neutrality important?

ISPs have a distinct advantage in the marketplace for services delivered over the Internet because the barrier to entry into the residential internet market is prohibitively high:

  • First, because of the huge capital costs in building out a network to end users
  • Second, because of the billions of dollars in subsidies, tax breaks, and exclusive access rights granted by local, state and the federal governments.

The barrier to entry for disruptive and innovative services on the Internet itself is almost zero, and this is what makes the Internet economy thrive.

If ISPs are able to favor their own services or charge for preferred access, which only the largest companies could afford, then the opportunities for startups and small businesses to disrupt the status quo begin to drastically shrink.

OK fine, but why are we worried about this now?

The new commissioner of the FCC has vowed to strip down the Net Neutrality provisions put into place in 2015. This is despite the fact that net-neutrality is supported 3:1 across the political spectrum — it’s non-partisan everywhere (except Washington, of course).

July 12, 2017 is the date that individuals and companies are coming together, rallying their networks and connections and galvanizing a movement to help save net neutrality and fight the threat to free and open Internet.

Is this a hopeless fight?

In a word: No.

The battle for Net Neutrality is half a decade old, and so far, we’re winning. On January 18, 2012, Internet companies rallied together along with their users to completely turn the tide on two critical bills in Congress: SOPA and PIPA. The Internet blackout protests in 2012 resulted in:

  • more than 8 million people looking up their representative on Wikipedia
  • 3 million people emailing Congress to express opposition to the bills
  • a petition at Google recording over 4.5 million signatures
  • 2.4 million SOPA-related tweets
  • lawmakers collecting “more than 14 million names — more than 10 million of them voters — who contacted them to protest” the bills

Congressional offices were overwhelmed with phone calls and the bills, which originally enjoyed strong support, were shelved and many representatives heavily backpedaled from their initial positions.

In short, it worked then. It can work now.

July 12th, mark your calendar. Actually, don’t go to the trouble of putting it on your calendar, just take one of the actions listed below in the “How Can I Help” section now. It takes from 2 seconds to 2 minutes. You can bask in the warmth of the knowledge that you did something that helped — because you did.

OK fine, but really, why should I care?

Net Neutrality sits at the unique intersection of human/business/tech/culture which you, and your friends and your family, should get behind and help define.

If you enjoy watching Netflix shows and YouTube videos, if you like reading articles on your phone and iPad, if you enjoy browsing ecommerce stores — then you should care about this fight.

If you’re an entrepreneur or work at a startup, you should care about this fight.

If you are the beneficiary of a a free(ish), fair(ish) and open(ish) Internet, you should care about this fight. (And if you’re reading this — you’re a beneficiary).

How can I help?

Every bit of support counts. Here are 6 ways you can help defend Net Neutrality, starting with the super easy (seriously, it will take 1 second), to slightly bigger commitments:

  • 💚 Click on the heart icon to recommend this post (1 second). A donation of US $1 will be made for every upvote received, details below.
  • Sign the petition on change.org (10 seconds). It’ll help. Those folks are great at mobilizing movements and there are already 22,000 signatures on that petition.
  • 🎁 Spread the word (2 minutes). Tell your your friends and educate family members who aren’t as tech savvy as you — just email them a link to this post or share it on Facebook and Twitter.
  • ☎️ Call your senators and representatives (3 minutes). https://www.savetheinternet.com/sti-home
  • 💬 Leave a comment (4 minutes). Tell me and the world why you care so much. Do it while while net neutrality is still alive, and your little ole’ comment won’t be squashed by some 900 pound gorilla. Oh, and I’ll donate $1 for every comment too, details below.
  • 💪 Join the protest (boss level). You can find more information at https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12/
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