“Net neutrality is dead. Bow to Comcast and Verizon, your overlords.” That was the headline on the Los Angeles Times website on Tuesday, hours after a federal appeals court shredded the Federal Communications Commission's latest attempt to guarantee an even playing field on the Internet.
The big Internet service providers have long sought to establish toll booths along the “information superhighway” and charge exorbitant fees to websites for speedy delivery of their content. Those who can't “pay to play,” or who fall out of favor for any reason or no reason at all, would be relegated to the digital equivalent of a dirt road. In making its case, Verizon insisted that net neutrality trampled on the company's free speech rights. Internet advocates hope that Obama's FCC will find a way to rewrite net neutrality rules to placate the courts. But, that's far from a sure thing.
So what does this have to do with The Indypendent? Quite a lot, actually. The prospect of a privatized, fenced-off Internet makes it that much more imperative that a print publication like this one continues to grow and thrive. Thanks to the generosity of our readers, we have raised more than $13,000 in our annual winter fund drive. Please help us blow through our goal of $15,000 by the time we wrap up the drive on February 1. More than ever, this is the time to show your support not just for the Indy but for the ideal that all people are entitled to a free and vibrant media system.
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