An Open Internet is in Danger, and It Affects Pro AV

7/14/2017 4:15:00 PM
By Cynthia Wisehart
I’m encouraging all professional AV stakeholders to read The Verge’s article The Internet is F**d (again) by Nilay Patel. It is a smart, long, tiring, deeply sad piece, but it’s critical to understand the facets of what is at stake with net neutrality.

The #1 thing that matters to our industry is paid prioritization: this means that without net neutrality, ISPs can create a fast lane for sites/apps that can pay the toll, and everyone else (like our sites, apps and browser-based product features) gets the donkey track. This is bad for small businesses and niche industries like ours. It seems so likely that the Internet will finally be handed over to the big telcos and the companies that can afford to pay ball with them.

What’s more, the politics are unmistakable and shameful. Commissioner Pail suspended the public comment section on Wendesday during the Day of Action after an “attack” with no further explanation (it’s back up now). ATT has come out with a marketing scheme that purports to “support” net neutrality but is the exact opposite. Even the name of the FCC action “Restoring Internet Freedom” is cynical. But it’s still worth trying to raise your voice. Ars Technica has an excellent article on how to frame your comments if you want to be strategic, but at a minimum numbers count so here is the direct link to Express Comment. Be sure to hit Return after typing your name (who knows why).

Cynthia Wisehart is the editor of NewBay Media's S&VC.

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