YouTube Will Have A Monthly Fee If We Don’t Protest Right Now

23 November 2017, 14:57

net neutrality youtube
net neutrality youtube. Picture: other
Benedict Townsend

By Benedict Townsend

Just what is 'net neutrality' and why are YouTubers talking about it so much?

What is 'net neutrality'?

You've probably seen the phrase 'net neutrality' being used by lots of YouTubers and famous figures, but haven't bothered to look into it. Honestly, we don't blame you. The biggest problem with net neutrality is that it's an extremely serious and immediate issue that also happens to have the most boring name of all time.

In short: net neutrality is the idea that the internet is free and equal. Anyone can access any (legal) website, websites all load at the same time, no one gets special treatment, no one gets bad treatment. You don't have to pay a monthly fee just to be allowed to load up Twitter and if you run Twitter, you don't have to pay Internet companies to make your website load fast.

Removing net neutrality takes all of that away - and that's precisely what the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission (in America) wants to do.

Who would want to end net neutrality?

Internet Service Providers. Internet Service Providers (also known as ISPs) are the companies that... well... you guessed it, provide internet. They want to end net neutrality, because without it they will be able to sell the internet to you in more and more specific (and expensive) ways.

Why do they want to do this? Why, to make money, my dear boy. The only reason anyone ever does anything in this hell reality we've all found ourselves in.

What would the internet be like in a post-neutrality world?

The answer, in brief, is expensive. Companies would have the ability to make certain websites load faster or slower than others. They would be able to ultimately decide which websites you are allowed to access. And all of these decisions will ultimately be based on one thing: How much cash you're willing to give them. If it sounds like a nightmare, that's because it is - and it actually already happens in some other countries.

Spain and Portugal have no net neutrality - and it sucks

In Portugal and Spain, internet providers are free to package and portion the internet as they please, leading to internet users having to buy specific bundles and deals in order to get to their favourite websites. This is the situation Americans would find themselves in without net neutrality - and other nations would likely swiftly follow suit.

But I don't live in the US!

If you live outside the US, you are in less immediate danger but you are not safe. America, the home of most large internet companies, abandoning net neutrality would send shockwaves across the world. Internet users would likely incur costs in dealing with American internet companies. The UK, for example, gets most of its internet from America via a single pipeline (no, seriously) and so would likely have to pick up some of the new costs dumped on our cousins across the pond.

ISP's in other countries would also likely lobby even harder to end net neutrality in other nations.

What can we do to stop it?

If you in the US, you can protest to the US Government directly, using this link.

There's also a nice, convenient way to stop this constantly being an issue: Stop electing officials who want to destroy the internet.

If you are outside the US, you can join the protest online... while you still can.

YouTubers have also made videos on the topic