Some of your favorite sites like Netflix, Etsy, Foursquare, and others will display spinning loading wheels all day today, as part of “Internet Slowdown Day.” The sites aren’t actually slowing down or throttling data, and the loading icons are purely symbolic, but what’s going on here?
Simply put, all of these sites are trying “to remind everyone what an Internet without net neutrality would look like.”
The FCC is currently figuring out how it should enforce new rules after previous net neutrality regulations were struck down in federal court. This issue is all the more pressing, given the Comcast merger with Time Warner cable, creating a high speed cable internet monopoly across much of the nation. Comcast has already proven that it does not want to play nice with video streaming services like Netflix, as the internet giant has indicated it might want to charge Netflix in the future for access to faster “lanes” of traffic.
In spite of this, cable companies have said that nothing is broken, and have pledged to keep the internet open at least for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, Comcast hasn’t said what it plans to do beyond 2018, when it said simply it will no longer play by the old net neutrality rules.
Monday is the last day to comment to the FCC on your stance on net neutrality. If you want to keep the internet free and open not only until 2018, but for your children and grandchildren, be sure to leave a comment ASAP.[NPR]