#dontblockmynet – The Digital Utility

Close your eyes for second and imagine your daily morning routine. The gentle but annoying chimes on your phone’s alarm clock wake you, against all odds you decide to skip the snooze button and stumble towards the light switch. You flick the light on and a rush of white light burns your retinas. It was a hot and stuffy night and your mouth feels as dry and cracked as death valley on a good day. Groggy, blind and thirsty; the struggles of the morning routine have only begun.

Think for a moment, if you flicked on your light switch or opened up the tap to quench that morning thirst, that it took a second to switch on or the quality was somewhat lessened based on preferential treatment by your utility company because you pay less than a large company. Most people be mildly annoyed if not ready to storm D.C. with slogans and protest signs calling for equal access to basic utilities.

This is the idea behind the fight for Net Neutrality.  Sure, access to binge watch the new season of “House of Cards” on Netflix or checking if your cool Instagram post has attained the number of likes you desired isn’t exactly as important as access to water, electricity or transportation, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.

At the moment, current rules protect our freedoms to a free and open internet, but lobbyists and members in congress are pushing for an internet that can be sold to the highest bidder and made slower to those that can’t quite keep up with the massive incomes of tech giants like Google or Apple. If the current rules of the internet are changed, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will have the right to create fast lanes for customers that pay more, and restrict access to those that pay less.

Ending Net Neutrality sounds like an awesome idea…if you like paying extra for basic access to internet or if you’re the CEO of an ISP with big dollar signs in your eyes. The internet should and remain an open and level playing field for anyone that wants access. In a world where the gap between the rich and poor widen, don’t let yourself slip further back. Don’t take my word for it. Take the time to research the pros and cons, google a little and read articles while you still have equal access. If you agree with me, sign the many petitions online and lobby your congressman to keep the internet equal, or prepare yourself for the beloved loading screen.