Net neutrality repealed

Yesterday, The Legal Genealogist wrote about the proposal before the Federal Communications Commission to repeal net neutrality.

That’s the rule that says your internet provider and mine can’t charge us more for accessing, say, The Legal Genealogist than any other website, or slow it down unless the website paid for special access.1

Today, in a 3-2 party line vote, we lost.

Net neutrality — for this moment — is dead.

Now there are those who wonder why we as genealogists should care. Here’s the bottom line: with net neutrality, the cable companies and wireless firms like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and others — have to treat all content on the internet the same way. Without it, they can charge more to a content provider like, say, The Legal Genealogist, to show up in your daily email or on your screen, and charge you more for access to, say, Netflix.

With net neutrality, FamilySearch as a free website on one side, and your choice of Big Genealogy Subscription website as a pay service on the other side get treated equally: both get the same right to send data out on the web, and you get access to both the same way. Without net neutrality, the service providers could throttle the free one back in favor of the paid service, or make you pay more for one than the other.

With net neutrality, YouTube videos from the National Archives on one side and Netflix on the other both get the same right to send data out on the web, and you get access to both the same way. Without net neutrality, the service providers could throttle the free one back in favor of the paid service, or make you pay more for one than the other.2

The only hope to keep net neutrality is now in the hands of the Congress.

If you want to help, the website to learn more is Battle for the Net.

Otherwise, December 14, 2017, goes down in the history books as the day when, in a 3-2 party line vote, net neutrality died.


SOURCES

  1. See Judy G. Russell, “Genealogy and net neutrality,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 13 Dec 2017 (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : accessed 14 Dec 2017).
  2. If you think I’m overstating this, see what public librarians have to say about this repeal. Kaitlyn Tiffany, “What public libraries will lose without net neutrality,” The Verge, posted 14 Dec 2017 (https://www.theverge.com/ : accessed 14 Dec 2017).
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