Net Neutrality: What Now?

In December, just before the FCC’s vote, I explained why net neutrality is important to small business owners. On December 14, the vote to scrap net neutrality regulations passed, and with 2018 upon us, it’s a good time to ask how this decision will affect business owners and what you can do about it.

The short answer is: nothing is going to happen immediately. The rules were just passed and and change is going to take time. Plus, the cable companies are under close scrutiny right now. They’re unlikely to take any action until the heat is off a little bit.

Lawsuits will be filed this year, though, and states are making decisions about how to protect neutrality. No doubt that will all lead to suits and countersuits, and no one can say how it will all shake out.

Your work is to stay on your representatives. Keep calling them, keep telling your friends and networks to call them because for most, their incentive is your vote.

3 Things You Can Do

  1. Call Your Representative. You can find out here who your representatives are, whether they support or oppose neutrality (or are undecided), and how to contact them. You can also always send mail, but I advocate making at least one phone call. Here’s why.
  2. Email the FCC leadership. The names and emails of the five, two of whom are net neutrality supporters, are in this Lifehacker piece, which includes other suggestions of things to do as well.
  3. Donate to the legal battle. This is America, where disputes get resolved through lengthy and expensive legal battles. Support the legal defenders with a donation.
  4. These are three things you can do in the next 10 or 15 minutes to defend net neutrality, but this is an ongoing issue with much remaining to be seen.

If you want to learn more, I recommend these balanced informative pieces published by TechCrunch and Forbes on the regulations and what’s next.

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