Have you ever been in a discussion with someone who was trying to sound intelligent, or like they knew what they were talking about, but it was glaringly obvious that they had no clue what they were saying? The result is usually some incoherent babble that sometimes leaves you unable to respond because you really have no idea what the heck they just said – because it didn’t make any sense.
Ladies and gentlemen I introduce you to Rick Perry’s comments on net neutrality. It’s not every day that someone tries to compare the fight to keep net neutrality with anything from the time period of the Great Depression, because that would make very little sense.
Except that’s exactly what Perry did.
“President Obama’s call to saddle 21st century technology with outdated, unnecessary regulations from the era of the Great Depression is alarming and will stifle innovation and growth,” Perry said.
He’s obviously referring to Obama’s attempt to reclassify the internet as a public utility, so that corporations can’t screw over consumers when it comes to internet access. Let’s think about Perry’s comments for a moment. Just because a law (that’s proven to be successful by the way) is from the 30’s, does that mean it’s suddenly invalid and worthless?
By Perry’s standards of “outdated,” couldn’t we then say our entire Constitution is outdated? After all, it was written in the late-1700’s. You’re telling me the quartering of soldiers during a time of war is a big issue in the 21st century? That’s what our Third Amendment addresses.
But what infuriates me most is how Perry, and others who think like he does, continue to perpetuate this ridiculous idea that the internet as we have known it since its inception has somehow been “stifling toward growth.” What the hell are these idiots even talking about? Net neutrality is about keeping the internet exactly how it’s been since it went mainstream. What ending net neutrality does is it gives the right for internet service providers to determine what sites are given access to what speeds based on who pays the ransoms they’ll demand for better service.
In other words, it puts access to the internet in complete control of ISPs. Just because a consumer pays $50 per month for 30 mbps download speeds doesn’t mean every website they visit will be delivered to them at those speeds (like we have right now) if companies like Comcast and Verizon get their way. So not only will net neutrality screw over businesses (particularly small and mid-sized ones that can’t afford to pay these fees), but consumers will essentially be paying for download speeds that they’re not getting.
Though Perry continued to prove that he apparently has no damn idea what net neutrality means by saying, “Instead, we should embrace a business and regulatory climate that encourages competition and empowers consumers with greater choice and access to high-speed internet and all the business, consumer, education and health care benefits that come with it.”
First, the vast majority of consumers have zero choice when it comes to internet providers. A problem that seems to only be getting worse as more of these companies continue to merge. Secondly, what ending net neutrality does is it discourages competition by giving a massive advantage to corporations that can afford to pay premium fees to internet service providers so that their websites are delivered to consumers at usable speeds.
Preserving net neutrality is the epitome of supporting a free and open internet. Without it, our internet access essentially becomes controlled by companies like Comcast and Verizon that will then determine what websites will be delivered to consumers at what speed. And if websites that you might particularly enjoy visiting refuse to pay these companies these fees, those sites can then be throttled down to such a slow speed that they’ll essentially be unusable to the consumer.
Imagine a small, online-only business with a revenue of about $200k annually being told by one of these internet providers that they need to pay $100k per year otherwise they’ll throttle access to their website down to unusable levels. Not only is that borderline blackmail, but even if that company did pay those fees it would essentially kill innovation and any hope for possible future growth.
Net neutrality shouldn’t be a left or a right thing, because that’s idiotic. The only people who should support ending net neutrality should be big telecoms such as Verizon and Comcast, because they’re the only ones who stand to benefit from killing it.
We have to make our voices heard on this issues. We must be fierce, relentless and unwavering in our stance to ensure that the internet remains the greatest vessel for information and innovation humankind has ever seen.
Because if we don’t, people like Rick Perry are determined to destroy the internet as we know it.
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