So The FCC Failed Us, What’s Next?

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By now, I’m sure you’ve heard the news that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to repeal its 2015 ruling to enforce net neutrality. BEFORE YOU CLICK OFF THE PAGE, yes net neutrality is important; it’s the reason you can access this post at no additional cost!! In fact, net neutrality is arguably more important now more so than ever before.

At the forefront for reasons why net neutrality is important, access to independent and unbias media. According to a recent Pew Research study as of August 2017, two-thirds (67%) of Americans report that they get at least some of their news on social media and that’s not just “selfie-crazed” millennials[1]. For the first time in the Center’s surveys, more than half (55%) of Americans ages 50 or older report getting news on social media sites[1].

Still there? OK good. Now, just in case you aren’t familiar with the role of the FCC, what net neutrality is or what a world without net neutrality would look like I’ll simplify it.

FCC = independent agency of the United States government created by statute to regulate interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable [2]

net neutrality = the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication [3]

What Net Neutrality Looks Like in 2018+ by quink
What Net Neutrality Looks Like in 2018+ by Reddit user quink [5]
Simple enough right? The FCC by way of net neutrality regulation prevents multi-billion dollar communication corporations a.k.a internet service providers from prioritizing their website/virtual content or the websites/virtual content of their partners over competitors keeping the Internet for the most part a leveled playing field. But to be fair, net neutrality hasn’t always been enforced. Following social media’s rise in popularity as well as the increased presence of video streaming platforms such as Netflix in the early 2010s ISP began to interfere with how fast users could access these sort of sites eventually forcing Netflix and Comcast to reach a financial settlement for services rendered [4].  If Netflix did not agree to incur this cost, it is safe to assume that without the enforcement of net neutrality ISPs would have sought these fees from the Netflix’s users.

If ISPs had their way, the fees could resemble what Reddit user quink drafted to which may be putting it mildly with the 21st Century Fox-Disney buyout. Back to the question at hand! The purpose of this post isn’t to rehash the FCC’s decision but to look toward the future. Was I at all surprised by the vote? Not at all! I’ll get to the why in a bit, first, take a look at the FCC’s leadership vote results.

Commissioner Mignon Clyburn voted in favor of net neutrality
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel voted in favor of net neutrality
Commissioner Brendan Carr voted against net neutrality
Commissioner Michael O’Rielly voted against net neutrality
Chairman Ajit Pai voted against net neutrality

Notice the thread of commonilty amongst commissioners opposed? If you guessed, their shared gendered, dig deeper! If you guessed, their shared gendered and political affiliation, you’re almost there! If you guessed, shared gendered, political affiliation, and *coughs* publicly finiancially traceable history with large corporations I mean previous work experience prior to serving as a commissioner for the FCC you my friend are as the kids say, WOKE.

That’s right!! All commissioners opposed to the enforcement of net neutrality are Republican men with work experience advocating on behalf of… (you guessed it) a multi-billion dollar communication corporation a.k.a the internet service providers so excuse me for this bit of honesty but net neutrality was doomed when the current FCC leadership board was enacted.

Hey, I didn’t see you post about net neutrality at all across your social media platforms! You’re absolutely right I did not for this very reason. (If I might interject, I was never a fan of slacktivism anyway.) While there may still be a chance the FCC’s decision will be overturned in the Senate [6] I won’t be holding my breath. Why? If you’ve ever browsed to research your local affluent elected officials you’d know the money of the ISPs stretch far and wide. The voter turn out rate for local election remain low nationwide, corporations continue to buy poloticans therefore affecting legislation, and district maps as well as the electoral college remains fundamental bias long explaination short, progression change is far beyond reach. So, was as a society do we continue to run on the hamster wheel?

If as a society we were doomed from the start, why the sudden interest? I came across this video from Hip-Hop star Lupe Fiasco.

Fiasco raised a great question, why don’t companies most effected by the repeal of net netruality just build an ISP. Is this possible? Would this solve the problem? It couldn’t just be that easy to get off the hamster wheel could it? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.


[1]  Shearer, Elisa, and Jeffrey Gottfried. “News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2017.” Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, Pew Research Center, 7 Sept. 2017,
[2] Federal Communications Commission. (n.d.). About the FCC. Retrieved December 18, 2017, from
[3] Gilroy, Angele A. (March 11, 2011). Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate (Report). DIANE Publishing. p. 1. ISBN 978-1437984545.
[4] Seward, Zachary M. “The inside story of how Netflix came to pay Comcast for internet traffic.” Quartz, Quartz, 27 Aug. 2014,
[5] What Net Neutrality Looks Like in 2018+ by Reddit user quink. Image.
[6] Shepardson;, David. “Senate Democrats to force vote on FCC net neutrality repeal.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 15 Dec. 2017,


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