Two major players in the cable cutting have just thrown their names in the ring in the fight over net neutrality. Netflix and Amazon have announced they will join the worldwide “Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality 2017” on Wednesday, July 12. On that day, many of the web’s most popular and most-visited sites will display banners, be “blacked out,” or promote a neutral web in other ways. Google, Facebook, Reddit, Spotify, Etsy, and hundreds of other popular websites have joined in the Day of Action.
If you’re unfamiliar with the debate surrounding net neutrality, it’s time to change that. Net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) should remain neutral, allowing their subscribers to access all parts of the web with the same speeds and without ISP-issued paywalls. On one side are the net neutrality advocates who believe the internet should be open to all regardless of which ISPs are available to them, while on the other side are lobbyists and corporations who believe cable companies and ISPs should be able to charge more for or provide customers slower speeds to certain websites and services. The debate has reached the floors of congress, where a docket has been submitted to roll back net neutrality protections and enable ISPs to dictate their users’ internet usage all in the name of corporate “freedom.”
The future of cable cutting hangs in the balance as government agencies, legislators, and corporations fight over the internet. Many of the most popular streaming services are owned by the same companies who provide users with internet service; if net neutrality protections were undone, you could see your choices of streaming services could become limited, be forced to pay more to access certain streaming sites, or even be blocked from accessing certain streaming services. Choices of ISPs are still very limited in some areas; 50 million US homes still only have one option for high-speed internet at their address. If cable companies have their way, these consumers will see their internet freedoms greatly restricted.
To learn more about net neutrality and what you can do on tomorrow’s Day of Action, check out BattleForTheNet.com.