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Internet Slowdown

As you may already be aware, perhaps after noticing what appeared on the screen when you first visited various sites, including this one, today is the Internet Slowdown, which marks another step in the battle for network neutrality. Or the battle against cable company fuckery, as John Oliver puts it in his explanation of the issue and what’s at stake, which is far more interesting than any article I happened to stumble into, not to mention anything I may write myself, so I’d tell you to watch it if you haven’t already, whether you already know what it’s all about or not.
Yes, at the moment the problem may appear to be focused on the United States, but the Internet is global and if this boulder is allowed to start rolling in a country that’s such a major player on the world stage and where so much of the infrastructure and so many of the biggest companies are located, it’ll be that much more difficult to stop it from crushing everything else in its path as well in the near future. In other words, while the simple fact that we should show solidarity with each other, as Internet users of the world, should be enough to make you want to get involved regardless of your location, other motivations are also there for those who require them.

I only mean to briefly mark the moment in this post, so I won’t get into details and there’s little point in doing so anyway, considering the video I linked to and all the information readily available for those who want to dig deeper, but what is being asked shouldn’t even need any complicated explanations. After all, the main demand is simply to ensure that all ISPs will treat all typical Internet traffic equally, without any sort of discrimination based on the sites accessed, the types of content transferred or the protocols used. Higher priority obviously needs to be given to critical services such as the emergency and security ones, but other than that, everything should be treated the same way.
Of course, the lack of competition, which is definitely also a major problem in the United States and a large part of the reason why cable company fuckery is even a possibility, absolutely needs to be addressed as well, but that’s a more complicated and lengthy process. Doesn’t seem to be so hard to destroy it, as it’s been happening here as well, but once that favorable climate is gone, it’s difficult to recreate even without taking the current economic conditions into account.
As such, the second request which should be made right now, alongside formally enforcing network neutrality, should be to regulate ISPs in order to prevent them from taking advantage of their dominant market position in all areas where customer choice is restricted by monopolies or deals between the companies. If decent pricing and service quality standards will be created, updated periodically to keep up with advancements in technology and, very importantly, strictly enforced, much of the negative impact of the lack of competition will be mitigated.


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