December 14 – The Death Knell for Small Business?

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December 14 – The Death Knell for Small Business?

The internet is the life blood of my business.

I send out a weekly newsletter and I publish my blog on my website. I offer webinars, online training and do online consulting with many clients. I am constantly using the web to research and to develop my own skills with online training.

Without open and equal access to the web my business would die.

And if you want to grow your company, December 14th may be the death knell for your small business.

What This Means for You

Net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) will not block or slow web traffic, instead allowing all data to have equal access to its networks. This was affirmed with the 2015 Open Internet Order.

The new head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a plan to dispose of equal access rules and give total control to ISPs—AT&T, Comcast and Verizon—in regulating and pricing our access to the web.

December 14th is the day that the FCC is voting on this plan, which with its majority of Republicans is expected to pass.

You heard me right. The FCC is giving total control of the internet to the major ISPs, the same companies that provide lousy service now and have never provided even mediocre customer service for years.

Big online companies like Google and Facebook say the repeal proposal would allow telecom companies to play favorites by charging customers for accessing some sites or by slowing speeds to others. The existing rules were written to prevent such arrangements.

While this can decimate your business, it also has incredible ramifications on all aspects of our lives.

Thom Hartman said it best in a recent article. Hartmann is an internationally known speaker on culture and communications, as well as a New York Times best-selling author of 23 books currently in print in over a dozen languages on five continents. Here is what Hartman wrote:

Once net neutrality is dead at the hand of former Verizon lawyer and now FCC-chief Ajit Pai, do you really believe Comcast or Verizon will let people click through to sites like “ComcastSucks.org” or “VerizonSucksAss.com”?  

“China locks down the internet to control politics, but here politicians are largely corporate-owned, so these big ISPs simply paid (er…”donated”) to put their guy in charge of the FCC. Soon, they’ll be able to block any protest activity you may be considering, particularly if it’ll hurt their profitability. And, of course, ISPs want to stay in the good graces of the politicians they’ve bought, so if busting you on behalf of the State ingratiates them to the political powers-that-be, all the better…  

Not only that, in order to lock down the internet and wring every single penny that can be wrung out of your identity and data, your ISP will, in all probability, radically ramp up their “oversight” (aka spying) of/on you so they can determine what you might want to buy, who and where you are, and what you might be able to afford.  

This intense profit motive, to extract the last penny from every one of us, in both fees and by selling our browsing/posting/email history, has all but wiped out the possibility of anonymity.  As we can see with the J20 websites —where our government is demanding all the online activity related to protests against Trump on January 20, 2017—once your ISPs begin monitoring and collecting all of your information, there’s nowhere left to hide.

Independence and privacy – the anonymity necessary to be able to participate in politics – are essential parts of the DNA of the United States. To destroy them on the internet, now that it has replaced the mail and the town square for communications of all sorts, will mean that there will be little or no protest in the future.”  

Who Is the Chair of the FCC?

Ajit Pai is the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, the government agency that regulates radio and television airwaves, cable TV, and internet. So he is in control of all of our communications.

Pai was appointed to the FCC by President Trump in January, 2017 to replace Tom Wheeler who passed the 2015 Open Internet Order which set today’s net neutrality rules.

Here are some facts you need to know about Ajit Pai:

  • Pai used to work for Verizon

    As Associate General Counsel he handled competitions matters, regulatory issues, and counseling of business units on broadband initiatives.

  • The FCC received millions of public comments on net neutrality rules—and Pai ignored virtually all of them.

    The FCC received 22 million comments on net neutrality rules, of which 1.3 million were probably fake. If you remove the bot-generated comments, 95 to 98 percent of the real living commenters favored keeping the current rules that regulate ISPs like public utilities. 

  • All of the big tech companies oppose Pai on net neutrality.

    Last July, the leading companies and websites that grew up with the internet—Google, Apple, Wikipedia, Reddit and the like—came together for a day of action  to educate users about the danger of the FCC’s plans.

    Cynthia Hogan, head of public policy for Apple in the United States, laid it all out in a letter sent to the FCC. "Providers of online goods and services need assurance that they will be able to reliably reach their customers without interference from the underlying broadband provider," she wrote.

What You Can Do

If we are to preserve democracy—what little we have left—in our nation, we must fight Verizon’s lawyer Mr. Pai’s efforts to destroy net neutrality.

Here are some steps you can take:

Gutting net neutrality can gut your business. Take a stand today and call your representatives before December 14th.

DianeWekler-sml-for-postsDiane Weklar, the Authority on Accelerating Business Growth, is the CEO of the Weklar Business Institute. She is the author of the award winning book, Mastering the Money Maze: 10 Secrets to Winning Business Financing,which is also an Amazon #1 Best Seller. This book provides practical insight to build a successful business and the practical steps to raise capital to help your firm grow. She can be reached at Diane@Weklar.com.

 

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