We’ve written on the subject of net neutrality before, but recent events have cast a new light on the FCC’s dubious plans to dismantle internet freedom. Therefore, we thought it was a topic worth revisiting.
On the eve of Thanksgiving, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released a damning statement outlining his plans to roll back Obama-era protections that prevented service providers like Comcast and AT&T from controlling how websites load.
In a public statement published by the Wall Street Journal, Pai laid out his plans to rid telecom companies from what he considered to be outdated rules. “I’m proposing today that my colleagues at the Federal Communications Commission repeal President Obama’s heavy-handed internet regulations,” Pai writes. “Instead, the FCC simply would require internet service providers to be transparent so that consumers can buy the plan that’s best for them.”
Unfortunately, as is the case in most cities in the U.S., there are only a handful of internet options available—in some places customers have no choice at all. Therefore, by giving the telecom companies more power, they’ll have nothing keeping them from imposing their own stringent rules and regulations on how users browse the web.
How a VPN can help
While the fight for net neutrality may be a losing battle, you can still turn to VPNs to help them browse the web the way it was meant to be. By connecting to a VPN location, you’re able to hide your IP address while you “assume” a different IP in another city, state or country.
(Not sure where to start when it comes to choosing a VPN? Check out our guide.)
If your ISP is throttling your network or blocking certain sites, which analysts predict will most certainly happen, using a VPN to connect to a server in another location could make it possible for you to browse without your ISP imposing rules on your network.
Of course, VPNs won’t prevent the full effects of a net neutrality repeal, and sites like Netflix and Hulu may start charging higher prices for users to help bridge the gap.
Bringing the fight to the FCC
Since the FCC opened a public commenting process in April, the site receives a deluge of daily comments urging the agency not to repeal net neutrality. Coincidentally, it also received millions of comments in favor of the repeal, those they are currently being investigated by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on the grounds that many—if not most—seem to come from fake email addresses.
It’s clear the FCC is purposely trying to stifle out the overwhelming public opinion in favor of keeping net neutrality by injecting fake supporters into the mix, but the fact that the FCC plans to dismantle these protections over the holidays, where they think (hope) the public won’t notice is downright disgusting.
It’s not too late! Some steps you can take
While the end is near, it’s not too late to make your voice heard. If you live in the U.S., reach out to your local government representative and tell them to vote “No” on Dec 15.
Here’s a list of relevant websites to help make your voice heard: