Today is the Net Neutrality Day of Action in the USA. Thingiverse joins other digital businesses to raise awareness of a critical issue.
You might have noticed something unusual when you visited the Thingiverse website today; the site is “blocked” unless you open your wallet and pay for “premium” Internet access. Those precious STL files are being held to ransom!
But don’t panic just yet. The stunt is an attempt to visualize what might happen if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States drops the net neutrality rules that they adopted just two years ago.
Thingiverse is joining together with other major web entities like Amazon, Netflix, Reddit and Kickstarter. It’s all part of the day of action to support net neutrality in the USA.
The key concern is that without net neutrality, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) could charge their customers more money to access the websites or services they rely upon.
The block on Thingiverse then has a follow-up message; if you don’t want to live in such a future, then it’s time to take action.
Visitors are then invited to go to the Dear FCC site operated by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), where they can digitally sign and send a letter to the FCC.
The fight over net neutrality isn’t just about consumer protection, but also about freedom of speech. According to EFF Activist Elliot Harman:
What makes the Internet great is that anyone can use it to get their voice heard. Your message, your idea, or your story can reach millions of people, just as many people as large broadcasting companies can reach. If big ISPs win this fight, the next iteration of the Internet might look something more like cable TV, where providers have a great deal of influence over which messages their members hear—and they can deprioritize or even flat-out block content they don’t like.
The EFF does a great job of helping a broad audience to understand a complex issue; they argue that to protect a free and open Internet — where ISPs don’t discriminate between different types of content or communications — then the FCC mustn’t abandon Title II, the legal foundation for today’s net neutrality rules.
And freemarket competition between ISPs won’t guarantee net neutrality, either. Most parts of the USA have only one option for broadband Internet access.
If you live in the United States and would prefer to keep the Internet the way it is; now would be a good time to join hands with Thingiverse and make your voice heard.
Visit: Dear FCC
License: The text of "Thingiverse Takes Part in Net Neutrality Day of Action" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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