Letter for Thursday, December 14, 2017

Protect net neutrality

On Thursday, Dec. 14, the Federal Communications Commission may roll back net neutrality protections put into place in 2015.

What is net neutrality? The American Library Association defines net neutrality as “the concept of online non-discrimination.” It means that internet service providers cannot discriminate and control accessibility to certain websites, streaming media, and information on the internet.

Eliminating net neutrality protections would give internet service providers control over all of the information that is available via the internet, making information access a privilege rather than a right. It means your internet service provider could decide because it has a deal with Hulu, that it will not allow you to access Netflix.

It also means that internet service providers could start charging for the speed at which people have access to certain content on the internet, further marginalizing our most vulnerable internet users and populations who cannot afford to pay more.

Net neutrality preserves our right to communicate freely using the internet. It means that companies cannot determine what you have access to even if they do not agree with the opinions expressed. The elimination of net neutrality undermines our democracy.

The Hawaii State Public Library System is committed to free and equal access to information. We encourage you to contact your representatives in the US Congress to voice your opinion regarding the repeal of Net Neutrality. Additionally, you can contact the FCC directly to voice your concerns.

For more information, visit the ALA website on net neutrality issues at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/telecom/netneutrality.

To contact the FCC, visit the FCC’s Contact page: https://www.fcc.gov/about/contact

To contact your representatives in the US Congress: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

Michelle Young, Makana Waiamau, David Thorp, Janet Perea, Jemuel Laymance-Drake, Carolyn Larson, Lani Kawahara, Sierra Hampton-Eng, William DeSalvo, Katherine Bengston, Casey Agena, Branch managers for the Hawaii State Public Library System’s Kauai branches (Waimea, Koloa, Hanapepe, Lihue, Kapaa, and Princeville)

  1. Sunrise_blue December 14, 2017 7:01 pm Reply

    Honolulu’s airport is named after a Japanese war veteran, Daniel K. Inouye. This group of ethnicity was in the 23.0% category of Hawai’i’s total population. Caucasians were the front runner at 23.4%. So who really controls the policies in Hawai’i?

    Voters have the final say. The government control of wealth or growth is limited to already set policies within the state administration and budgets.

  2. BruceN December 15, 2017 6:59 am Reply

    There are two sides to the Net Neutrality discuss and some of the statement made in the article are not totally accurate. As users of broadband most consumers select a package that provides a certain guaranteed bandwidth of service and based on that they pay a given rate. There are certain services and applications that consume major portions of the current bandwidth such as “streaming” to get NETFLICKS etc. Under net neutrality the owners of the highways are not allowed to charge these providers of services additional charges. There are two points here:
    1. If they don’t charge the service provider like NETFLICKS then they will charge you the user a higher rate.
    2. By charging these providers they also spur technological development to enable them to provide their service using lower bandwidth.
    The article calls this charging discrimination but Webster diction defines discrimination as: to unfairly treat a person or group differently from other people or groups. You make up your own mind as the bottom line issue is do you favor greater government control or do you want government involved in more of your daily life?

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