Before we get into this topic, I want to be crystal clear: this is NOT a political issue. Sure, the argument is happening in political spaces, but it’s not a debate against right and left or party against party. This is about fairness and free markets.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) want the freedom to block or slow down competing content on the connection you’re already paying for. Sounds far-fetched, right? It’s already happened dozens of times already. ISPs have repeatedly started competing products and blocked their competition from competing fairly.
And it’s only getting worse. The new chairman of the FCC (and former Verizon lawyer), Adjit Pai, has slashed consumer protections so much so that now his former employer can purchase Yahoo and create a vertical monopoly with content and distribution all coming from the same company. In fact TechCrunch, which is owned by Verizon, even admitted:
Verizon now wants to control what’s going through these pipes. And the company is investing a lot of money in this venture.
This wouldn’t even be that bad, but many cable companies have regional monopolies which limit your options to 1 or 2 carriers. This lack of competition allows them to use that leverage to fix prices, skimp on customer service, and (if we’re not careful) extend that lack of competition to the internet itself.
In a free and fair market, the best ideas should win. It doesn’t always work out that way, but at the very least everyone should be allowed a fair shot. So to preserve the free market that built the internet, Coconut Radio has joined startups from all over the country including Pinterest, Reddit, Github, Meetup and over 1,000 others in signing a letter to the FCC advocating a fair and open internet.
There is a lot of work to do and it’s going to be an uphill struggle against very powerful companies, but we’re used to doing big things. If you want to help get this big thing done, sign some petitions, contact your Congressman, post good information to Facebook and Twitter so the word gets out.
I believe that given a fair fight, the best products and the best companies win and that the process benefits us all. If you believe that too, help us protect Net Neutrality