A free Internet

Time is now to speak up on net neutrality

Net neutrality. Despite its now widespread use, the term alone is enough to make most people’s eyes glaze over. But wait! It’s actually really important. Losing it could affect all of us in countless ways. And once again, it’s in jeopardy.

The basic principle of net neutrality is that all websites are equal. Walmart’s site, then, would be just as accessible as Lulus.com or, heck, newsreview.com. To do away with net neutrality would allow Internet service providers (ISPs like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T) to speed up access to sites that pay a price and slow down those that don’t.

This is a big deal right now because President Trump’s Federal Communications Commission chairman, Ajit Pai (incidentally a former Verizon lawyer), is attempting to reverse a decision in 2015 granting net neutrality. Under his plan, Internet and phone companies would be able to block certain sites and apps in favor of others. The FCC is scheduled to vote on the matter Dec. 14, so time is running out to make our voices heard.

Here’s how: Email Pai directly at Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov and let him know why net neutrality is important to you. If you’re more of a sign-a-petition type, you can do so at act.freepress.net/sign/internet_wake_up_destroy. Or, alternatively, make a sign and join the masses around the country that will be protesting outside of Verizon stores on Dec. 7. We’ve heard of a protest planned for outside the East Avenue store in Chico. (Just keep in mind that most of Chico’s Verizon stores are franchises. As always, be kind to store employees.)