If you get online today and you find your Reddit is lagging, your Etsy is crawling, and your Tumblr isn’t Tumbling as fast as it should, you’re not alone. Everyone is having the same problems, and it’s all planned by the companies themselves. Some 35 different organizations and hundreds of different websites have come together to slow down the internet in protest of the FCC’s “paid prioritization” bill. The bill would allow ISPs to charge more to allow some customers priority positions in bandwidth, while other customers are left with what’s left. In other words, it’s a way for ISPs to make even more money while throwing the idea of net neutrality out the window.
To protest this decision, many websites have decided to bring their operations down to a crawl to remind customers what life would be like without unfettered access to broadband. It’s being called Internet Slowdown Day, and it’s an attempt by the companies to raise awareness of just what the big telecoms are trying to do. They want to charge additional fees and tolls to companies like Netflix who use a lot of bandwidth, and then leverage that ability to charge companies for priority access from their servers. Meaning if YouTube pays for priority, it will load faster than, say, Netflix or Vimeo. In other words, companies are trying to tell you what to do with the broadband internet you’re paying for.
“The ISPs have invested tens of millions of dollars in their effort to undermine Net Neutrality,” said a press release from Demand Progress executive director David Segal, “But we still have a chance of defeating them — because the overwhelming majority of Americans stand with the Open Internet. September 10th represents a chance for us to make that fact impossible to ignore.”
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