I just want to take a moment to explain, in a non-overwhelming way, what net neutrality means to everyone. I know you are probably here because you just found a bed bug and you need to learn more. That is exactly why Net Neutrality is important. Without it, this site and millions just like it won’t exist, or if they do exist they won’t be free. Much of the focus is on big sites, and that is important, but collectively sites like this are just as important as the big boys. Please take a minute to understand.
What Does Net Neutrality Mean For You?
Are you a Netflix subscriber? Do you shop on Amazon? Do you search with Google? Do you play games on your smart phone? Are you looking for information about bed bugs? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then net neutrality matters to you.
Without net neutrality Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can charge extra for use of sites and services. They can charge the site/service and they can charge you. How much? Whatever they decide. And it shouldn’t matter. You are already paying to have access to data. It shouldn’t matter to the ISP what data you are accessing.
Do you appreciate or even think you pay too much for Netflix at $9.99 per month? Your ISP, let’s say AT&T, can go to Netflix and say they need to pay $10 per user in order to stream to AT&Ts customers, and if they don’t pay, AT&T can shut off access to Netflix, or throttle bandwidth below HD standards. Netflix will face the option of passing that extra fee on to you, or risk losing customers. Suddenly those savings you found when you cut the cord won’t be as great any more when you’re paying $19.99 per month.
The same is true for any website or service you access daily like Facebook, YouTube, eBay, and Amazon. Your ISP would be able to charge you a service fee every time you buy something on Amazon. They can add on an additional ‘smart phone game package’ if you enjoy playing games on your phone (I still play Pokemon Go).
Do you search on Google? Your ISP can decide that you need to pay 10 (just throwing a number out there) cents per google search you do. If you’re like me you do 5 or more searches per day. That really adds up over a month. You searched to get here. You would be paying tens, which could add up to hundreds of extra dollars to find information on sites just like this. The ISP would, of course, give you an option to use their own search engine. Guess what results you will find? The ISPs preferred site – those that pay them. Which brings up my last point…
What Does Net Neutrality Mean For Me?
By this I mean me, as a small informational blog. This page doesn’t really make any money. Ad revenue covers hosting costs, but after that I may bring in enough to take my wife out to dinner once a year. I don’t do it for the money. I do it because I like technology, I enjoy writing, I have knowledge that I can share, and most importantly, I love helping people. And there are millions of sites just like this that provide useful information to you for free. Free information to help you, by people that just want to help.
Without net neutrality, individual ISPs can come to small sites like mine and say you have to pay us $X if you want our users to be able to access your site. AT&T can charge me their fee, Comcast, Verizon, Spectrum, etc. can also charge a fee for each of them. If that day comes, I apologize in advance, but I’m out. I love helping people for free, but I can’t afford to pay to do so. I know a large majority of small sites would do the same.
In the end, you end up with an internet controlled by ISPs based on a pay to play model. On the surface it sounds far-fetched, but is that really any different than the government controlled internet access they have in China? Maybe, maybe not. And maybe I read too much science-fiction.
What Can You Do to Save Net Neutrality?
It is super easy. Just click on this link for www.battleforthenet.com and fill out the short form. There is additional information on the site if you want to get more involved, but just completing the form is huge. Thank you for taking time to read this. I promise more bed bug articles soon to help in your fight at home.