Source of conflict
Now that Ajit Pai has been named the chairman of the FCC, is net neutrality in danger?
First, some background. Natalie Earhart, another writer with The American Genius explains net neutrality better than I could: “If you want to continue accessing content free from your internet service provider’s biases, you support net neutrality.”
The net neutrality rules were adopted in 2015. Providers cannot play favorites with the content that users want to access.
Where Chairman Pai stands
Pai wants to stifle net neutrality saying that the rules hold back innovation, investment, and job creation. He has been critical of the rules since before they were adapted. Before Pai stepped into leadership at the FCC, the FCC accused AT&T of streaming sponsored data faster than the streaming rivals, which gives the company an unfair advantage.
Now that Pai is at the helm, it’s unlikely the FCC will push back.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Advocates of net neutrality are concerned that the rules could be overturned under Pai’s leadership.” quote=”Many advocates of net neutrality are concerned that the rules could be overturned under Pai’s leadership.”]
Net neutrality is at risk under the new Trump administration.
What can consumers do?
Although Pai doesn’t normally side with net neutrality proponents, most agree that he is willing to listen to both sides. Most importantly, consumers need to be proactive and make sure the government knows where consumers stand.
At a federal level, the FCC and our legislators need to know that these rules are supported by voters and businesses.
Write to your representatives. If you need help with a letter, Freepress, a nonpartisan organization, offers samples.
Work locally for more options
Local activism is another route that can be taken. According to The Journal, in Texas, statutory language prohibits municipal broadband. Municipal broadband markets have the potential to increase internet access in areas that are underserved. These public companies can open competition in rural communities that often only have one internet provider option.
Working at the state level to change these laws might be a way to protect net neutrality that bypasses the federal government.