Goodbye Net Neutrality
On December 14, the Federal Communications Commission voted to reverse the 2015 Open Internet Order, dismantling all Net Neutrality regulations. Internet operators will no longer be prohibited from blocking or throttling content. Nor will they be prohibited from splitting the network into paid ‘high-speed classes’, where content providers can access consumers more quickly.
Such a vote will negatively affect schools’ access to the Internet throughout the country, and the public’s personal data is at risk now that the protection of Net Neutrality is eliminated. Users can also expect to pay more money for the same access to entertainment, music and online services. Network companies, as well as Internet Service Providers (ISP), have the freedom to create multi-level plans where access to social networking sites and music services such as YouTube require an additional fee.
The societal pushback towards the FCC has been inspiring. The support for an open internet reflects our continued commitment to a legitimate digital music market where artists and fans have access to desired music. Net Neutrality allowed people to access any website knowing that an ISP would not interfere with their website-browsing habits nor create a profile of their online activities.
Yet, imagine waiting longer to log-in to your favorite website because you cannot afford (or do not want) to pay for the ride of powerful ISO’s. The FCC welcomes public comments on its decision to relax the principles of Net Neutrality imposed on Internet Service Providers.
All artists deserve the right to use the Internet for the purpose of cultivating listeners. Similar, fans deserve to decide for themselves how and where to access lawful content.
Cory Branan, American singer-songwriter, notes:
Abolishing net neutrality will have an impact on the streaming of music. It will also affect ticket sales and even the sale of merchandise.
How could you compare the situation of a musician’s standing in 2007 to the situation they would find themselves today? In 2010, Google and Verizon developed a vision of Net Neutrality in favor of ISP’s. They proposed to making high-speed belts unavailable to those who pay more.
Fans of net neutrality have major online companies such as Twitter, Google, and Netflix on their side. Some of which have uploaded news or statistics to persuade FCC to follow the rules of Net Neutrality.
In January 2014, the Federal Court of Appeals in Washington announced a resolution for the FCC. It stated that the Internet is to be open to freedom of expression and enterprise. A democratic majority of the FCC voted in favor of the new legislation on Net Neutrality in February 2015. The vote prompted ISP’s to challenge it before the courts.
On July 12, 2017, known as Action Day, the Internet met with an appeal to protest FCC’s efforts to allow large telecom companies to gain control over what we see and do on the web.
The biggest players in the radio industry, such as Clear Channel, have moved to an online social-networking market. Audiences have become used to surfing the Internet to listen to new music. However, fans might revert away from the Internet for new music, impacting such market moves.
The abolition of Net Neutrality will influence innovative tools as well as models of non-discrimination. From booking events to ticket and merchandise sales, artists and fans are nervous about the future of the Internet.
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