By CultureBanx Team
- The FCC announced plans to reinstate net neutrality rules for fair access to the internet after they were repealed 5 years ago
- Net neutrality is of particular importance for African Americans as an essential tool for activism and the dissemination of information within the community
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States has recently announced plans to reinstate net neutrality rules, which aim to guarantee fair access to the internet and its information. This move comes five years after the rules were repealed by the previous administration. Net neutrality is of particular importance for African Americans as an essential tool for activism, organizing, and the dissemination of information within the community.
Why This Matters: In the digital age, the internet’s role as a great equalizer cannot be overstated. The rules required internet service providers like Comcast (CMSA +1.99%) and Verizon (VZ +1.59%) to treat all web traffic equally as it passes through their networks. Platforms like social media have played a crucial role in elevating pressing social issues and driving change, as seen with movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #OscarsSoWhite. An open internet ensures that these voices are not silenced or marginalized.
The African American community relies on the internet for access to diverse sources of news and information. Traditional media outlets have often failed to adequately represent the perspectives and experiences of the community. The internet, however, has provided alternative platforms and independent voices that challenge mainstream narratives. Net neutrality ensures that these alternative sources of news and information remain accessible and are not suppressed by internet service providers who may have their own agendas.
What is Net Neutrality? Simply stated it’s ‘Open Internet’ meaning people can always access any lawful content. Now that the Trump administration has done away with these rules all consumers are vulnerable. Powerful ISPs can favor content providers who have the money to pay for better access. Ultimately this impacts the quality of your internet connection but helps to increase telecommunication companies profits.
Situational Awareness: Without net neutrality, ISPs can prioritize or block certain websites, services, or applications based on their own interests or financial incentives. The fight for net neutrality is not only about the technicalities of internet regulation but about preserving the power and potential of the internet as a tool for social justice and empowerment. The FCC Chair wants her colleagues to take an initial vote on possibly reinstating October 19.
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