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Old 11-17-17, 02:44 PM   #1
azteclady
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Net Neutrality, and access

The fight for equal access to the internet is not limited to ensuring that companies cannot prioritize speed (and price it accordingly).

Because access to the internet has not yet been definitely and permanently classified as a utility, such as water or power, structural access to broadband internet has been largely in the hands of private companies.

Since corporations exist exclusively to make money for stakeholders, no one should be surprised that poor communities in this country have as little access to broadband as some of the poorest countries in the world.

A government's function, at least in a democracy, is to provide essential services to all its citizens, not only to those who can afford them.

In an increasingly digitized and interconnected world, access to the web is essential. Poor, small, and/or remote communities with no local library branch, or where the existing one is small and poorly funded, benefit enormously from affordable/free access to the internet (as do those same small libraries and schools).

Hence, Lifeline, a federal program that subsidizes broadband access and phone service for poor households.

However, the FCC, under current administration, is keen not only on prioritizing web speed, so that corporations can make more money (which also allows interested parties to control who see what), but also on basically denying access to the web to the needy, by rolling back Lifeline.

Some people may not see why this is a problem, or why providing access to the internet is a civic matter.

Here's why: think about how much of what you do every day, you do online (and how many of these are routinely done using smartphones*)

Pay bills.
Shop, for anything from luxuries to necessities.
File and pay taxes.
Enroll in health care.
Apply for employment.
Renew car tag.
Renew driver's license.
Schedule doctors' appointments.
Check local ordinances/laws.
Pay speeding or other traffic fines.
Online classes.
Submit school assignments.
Enroll children in school.
Check school schedule.
Check syllabi, book and school material lists.
Check your polling place.
Check voting schedule.
Read candidates' positions, programs, platforms.
Check the news.
Watch movies/series/'tv' shows.

I could write a list ten times longer--and, increasingly, access to government programs is restricted to online applications and forms.

Denying the poor access to the internet is, in many communities in this country, essentially cutting them off from education, welfare, and participation in the political process.

Please call your elected officials, particularly members of Congress, and tell them why they should ensure that the poorest among us are not deprived of basic necessities, such as access to the internet.

* If you consider a smartphone a luxury, please realize that many people cannot afford both a phone (and monthly service) and a computer/desktop (and monthly broadband/DSL internet access). For many, many poor people, it's one or the other. Also, people who are teetering on the edge of homelessness (for example, living on a weekly rent room, or motel, or crashing on friends' and family's couches due to unemployment) depend entirely on smartphones to access many of the services they need--and which are designed to get them back on their feet.
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Last edited by azteclady; 11-17-17 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 11-17-17, 05:46 PM   #2
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Re: Net Neutrality, and access

Thanks Az. Access to information and healthcare should be a right. Hopefully, at some point, voters will see it that way. But for now, the fact that this stuff is complicated allows the public to miss the fact that our elected officials are supported the interests of corporations, not the individuals they represent, on these issues.


No voter has will benefit from the internet being tiered. But a hell of a lot of companies will.
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Old 11-17-17, 06:23 PM   #3
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Re: Net Neutrality, and access

One of the key talking points (and i don't mean this term pejoratively in this case) about this issue is that in the US children from all areas and economic backgrounds need internet access in order to be able to do schoolwork (and add all the critically important points AZ already listed above), and with libraries closing their doors at unheard of rates, home internet access is already a critical utility and should already be classified as such.

There's been a lot of chatter about this all over the tech forums, and it seems like almost anybody who actually understands what the term "net neutrality" means is strongly in favor of it and of internet being regulated as a critical utility. The corporations are leaning on governmental agencies, especially the FCC, and are getting away with it only because of public ignorance. Current FCC Chair Ajit Pai is a real class warrior who believes in the rights of wealthy as superseding anybody else's. The FCC board is supposed to be apolitical and both parties are allotted an equal number of seats in an effort to keep it apolitical. Pai is unashamedly playing power politics on behalf of industry lobbyists with crap like this proposition to cap Lifeline payouts. His claim at the press conference was that his proposition is intended to limit fraud and abuses of the system, which is patently absurd considering the proposition itself. So far he's been kept in check by the other members of the board, but the telecomm companies have a LOT of money to throw around and it would only take a couple more individuals to switch sides and Pai would have a majority. It's scary.
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Old 11-17-17, 06:59 PM   #4
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Re: Net Neutrality, and access

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The FCC board is supposed to be apolitical and both parties are allotted an equal number of seats in an effort to keep it apolitical


Right. In theory.

I don't mean you are wrong, just that the FCC is headed by the sitting president's appointee. And that person is who dictates the FCC. Under both parties, the cable companies won - so it really doesn't matter. I am of the mindset that there are only two parties: The individual party and the corporate party.
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Old 11-17-17, 07:43 PM   #5
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Re: Net Neutrality, and access

And i believe that our two-party system is comprised of those who admit that they work for the wealthy and those who pretend that they don't. Of course, there are other political parties in the US... cue more rofls

But absolutely no hard feelings about the laughter. It is utterly laughable, except for the utterly tragic aspects.
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gift cards make great gifts both for shoppers who are lazy and/or have a lot of gifts to buy. They're also a shrewd choice if there are individuals in your life for whom it is difficult to shop. When bought through the astore, they also help support this site, which isn't self-sufficient and doesn't hold fund-raisers or any of that other crap.

Please consider doing at least some of your holiday shopping through our astore this year.
Link: http://losttv-forum.com/forum/index.php?pageid=astore0

Here's a link for general help info on finding amazon goodies through the astore.: http://www.losttv-forum.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=85061e

As the old woman said when she peed in the sea, "Every little bit helps."
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Old 11-19-17, 02:39 AM   #6
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Re: Net Neutrality, and access

Here's a link with examples of scripts for calling Congress to stop the FCC vote that will, effectively, end net neutrality. There are also links there to explanations of what net neutrality does, and why it is important.

There is no one single person who can stop this from happening; it takes a village.

More on Lifeline and how it's being killed, here.
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Last edited by azteclady; 11-20-17 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 11-20-17, 12:08 AM   #7
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Re: Net Neutrality, and access

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Mo View Post
And i believe that our two-party system is comprised of those who admit that they work for the wealthy and those who pretend that they don't. Of course, there are other political parties in the US... cue more rofls


Today on a news talk show, I heard someone say the real loser in the current tax reform the House just passed were the humans.




Poor Humans.
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Old 11-20-17, 03:23 AM   #8
azteclady
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Re: Net Neutrality, and access

People, we could get new rules for the internet as early as Wednesday.

This is bad (see more about what Net Neutrality means for you, personally, here).

Call your elected officials, and let them know that you oppose even bringing these new rules to a vote, let alone just imposing them on the public this way.
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Old 11-20-17, 09:00 AM   #9
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Re: Net Neutrality, and access

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Originally Posted by LostViking View Post
Today on a news talk show, I heard someone say the real loser in the current tax reform the House just passed were the humans.




Poor Humans.
Lol, the goldfish read the bill but refused to vote, or do two bubbles mean "nay"?.
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Old 11-20-17, 05:22 PM   #10
Mr Mo
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Re: Net Neutrality, and access

They mean, "Yes! Yes!"
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I've always appreciated your restraint, Mo
Quote:
Originally Posted by vonnegut View Post
Mo, I you
Spoiler: notes
gift cards make great gifts both for shoppers who are lazy and/or have a lot of gifts to buy. They're also a shrewd choice if there are individuals in your life for whom it is difficult to shop. When bought through the astore, they also help support this site, which isn't self-sufficient and doesn't hold fund-raisers or any of that other crap.

Please consider doing at least some of your holiday shopping through our astore this year.
Link: http://losttv-forum.com/forum/index.php?pageid=astore0

Here's a link for general help info on finding amazon goodies through the astore.: http://www.losttv-forum.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=85061e

As the old woman said when she peed in the sea, "Every little bit helps."
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