On December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to repeal the 2015 net neutrality rules, which prevent internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon from deciding what content gets to users fast, effectively allowing them to slow down or block specific sites or applications. The proposal to reverse these rules is expected to pass in a 3-to-2 vote along party lines, which would largely be viewed as a huge loss for consumers everywhere and a giant win for mega-corporations like AT&T and companies.

In 2015, the net neutrality rules were passed under the premise that high-speed internet is an integral part of American life, and that services like Internet should be viewed as a utility, much like electricity and telephone. Thus, the net neutrality rules prohibit internet providers from “blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization—’fast lanes’ for sites that pay, and slow lanes for everyone else.”

If the repeal is to pass, internet providers would be able to charge people more to access specific websites or online services as well as prioritize their own offerings over websites run by rival companies. Similarly, internet providers could charge fees to companies who can afford to pay to maintain the speed of their sites, essentially holding smaller websites hostage for payment or drastically slow their site speed in comparison. Perhaps most troublingly, ISPs could block sites outlying political opinions they disagree with.

As music lovers and regular internet users, the idea of these rules being repealed is a scary thought. Please join us in the battle for net neutrality and the battle for freedom of speech, and reach out to your local congressmen to tell them to keep the Internet open and free. You can find out more about how to get involved at BattleForTheNet.com.

[Photo: Greg Horowitz]