Chances are, if you’re reading this post, you’re a person who spends a good amount of time on the internet consuming media. If that’s the case, you’re probably someone who prefers when their streamable content is easily accessible and doesn’t lag or cost you any extra to access. Truth be told, we simply could not run this site if our contributors couldn’t access Netflix, Spotify, Bandcamp and any other number of internet platforms for consuming media. As a no-profit enterprise that is entirely ad-free, we couldn’t afford to pay for our contributors to access these websites if they suddenly became more expensive to access beyond their regular membership prices.
Unfortunately, internet service providers (Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast, specifically) are currently attempting to collude with FCC Chairman/former Verizon attorney Ajit Pai to do exactly that: make it more expensive and more difficult to access the streaming platforms we all enjoy. Essentially, internet service providers want to be able to slow access to certain websites to crawl in order to charge both the companies that provide that content and you the consumer for accessing those sites. It would mean that only the mega-companies that can afford to pay huge sums of money could remain fast and reliable, while smaller websites (such as Crossfader) would be achingly slow. This has been an ongoing battle for years, but the Trump administration has been particularly willful in rolling back all regulations if it means a special interest can profit, which is exactly the case here. It’s not just that using the internet could become much more cost prohibitive; internet service providers could also choose to block certain websites because they’re critical of the service providers themselves, an obvious form of censorship. To put it bluntly, if the reversal of these regulations goes through, you really could see the internet you know and love go up in smoke very quickly.
If you want to know more about this, John Oliver did a great job explaining it a couple months ago, but really you need to go to this website. From that website, you’ll find a lot of things you can do today to make yourself heard and to defend your right to use the internet relatively freely. If you’re a fan of consuming media, you should be a fan of protecting everyone’s right to do so equally. Please take a few minutes to find out what you can do by following the link above.