If Net Neutrality Dies, New York Music Daily Dies With It
If the Federal Communication Commission’s ruling to end neutrality on the internet is allowed to stand, that will effectively destroy the web – and this blog along with it.
The internet service providers (ISPs) who funded the lobbying that resulted in the FCC ruling do not come from a web background. Their business model is cable tv.
Cable is typically marketed in packages: even the most basic service comes with channels you’ll probably never use. That’s because those channels are paying the cable company to include them in the package. As we all know, that’s how it works with the more expensive packages too: if you want the good movie channel or sports channel, you have to get the lousy ones along with them.
That’s how the ISPs want to monetize everything you do online: your searches, news and video you watch, music you stream, software and games and albums and whatever else you download.
Without net neutrality – the longstanding principle that allows equal access to all webpages, at least within their servers’ ability to handle traffic – the ISPs will be able to shut off your access to information, even if you’re willing to pay them extra for it.
There’s been great concern expressed about people losing their favorite movie channels, or access to gaming sites, if net neutrality dies. But the far more sinister effect will be cutting off access to any site that can’t afford to pay the ISPs just like the cable channels do.
Obviously, those who can afford to pay the ISPs will.
Which means that if you want to watch Amy Goodman, theoretically, you’ll still be able to – just at speeds that make dial-up seem like screaming wifi, if in fact you can get through at all. It’ll be like trying to pull a radio station from a distant state on the AM dial in the middle of the day.
But if you want to watch Fox “News,” it’ll come right up – after all the ads, that is.
Want to see if there’s still time to order from your local pizza place? Fuggedaboutit. But you’ll always be able to get through to Domino’s.
Same with music. Want to catch the nightly livestream from Smalls Jazz Club? That little circle will just keep going round, and round, and round, and round.
Bandcamp will probably bite the dust. Soundcloud too. Archive.org? Good luck with that. Spotify will probably shut down its web service and go to a paid-only model.
But you’ll always be able to go to Yahoo Music, where in between ads it’s Justin Bieber 24/7.
Without net neutrality, the internet is going to turn into network tv. Nothing but corporate press releases, disinformation and entertainment marketed to children and those with a child’s IQ. Like Pravda in the old Soviet Union, just dumber, only with content from ostensibly competing corporate sources instead of the Communist censorship office.
And the dark web is not the answer. You have to use the same ISP networks to access it.
The Trojan Horse bill called the Net Neutrality Preservation Act, currently making its way through Congress, only underscores the FCC action. While the bill would ban the outright blocking of web traffic, it essentially greenlights pay-to-play AND removes states’ rights to challenge it. At present (December 28, 2017), if you google “New York music blog,” New York Music Daily comes up on the first page, no matter where you are in the world. If net neutrality dies, that search result could be buried tens or hundreds of thousands of pages deep.
Why not just play the game, you ask. Why not do a kickstarter to pay off the ISPs so that New York Music Daily can survive?
That’s absurd. New York Music Daily has a global audience, which would make the cost of buying access prohibitively expensive.
Why not go to a paid subscription model? That would still require millions of dollars, in order to ensure access for readers around the world.
Here’s what we CAN do, and really need to do. If you’re in the United States, write your representatives in Congress IMMEDIATELY and let them know that you’ll vote them out of office if they don’t act on legislation to repeal the FCC ruling and restore net neutrality.
At the bottom of this page, there’s a sample letter you can use – but please add your own personal message to the boilerplate text. For maximum impact, send it around to your friends in your congressional district, get everybody to sign it and then send it in. The larger the group, the more likely a politician will pay attention to a particular issue.
And if you use New York Music Daily frequently, or find the information here useful, now would be a good time to subscribe. Scoll down and hit the “subscribe” button at the bottom of this page, or email lucidculture [at] gmail [dot] com with a “subscribe” message and you’ll get every daily article here emailed to you free of charge as it’s published. You can unsubscribe at any time. New York Music Daily remains committed to continuing to spread the word about good music, by all means necessary. Even if that means eventually having to leave the web.
But if we act now, that doesn’t have to happen. Obviously, the ISPs aren’t going to cause a massive backlash by doubling their rates immediately. Even in a worst-case scenario, we’re looking at a process that will take months if not years. But without legislation that restores net neutrality, we should expect to see the ISPs starting to charge more for the kind of service we’re used to, reducing budget service to slow-lane options based on the amount of data used, and clamping down on access to certain sites or services like games or video..
Remember, there are an awful lot of corporate interests that don’t want you using the web. Old-fashioned media like magazines, newspapers and record labels would love for you to buy from them instead of getting content online for free. And the cable companies don’t want you online either. They want you sitting in front of the tv, watching ads that make them a whole lot more than those little pop-ups that your browser is going to block anyway.
That’s just the business side. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out where all this is going politically. Planned Parenthood? Black Lives Matter? That little circle just spins and spins. But Trumpin2020.com? Fastest-loading and most popular page in the history of the web. Don’t laugh. It could happen, if we don’t act now. Write your representatives in Congress today! A sample letter is below:
The FCC’s recent ruling to end internet neutrality will have catastrophic consequences for American businesses and individuals. Putting the internet service providers in control of citizens’ access to the web will limit consumer choice, create monopolies and centralize power in the hands of a few multinational corporations while making it very difficult for consumers and small businesses in our congressional district.
Without net neutrality, we will also get censorship, which is unconstitutional. Any site that disagrees or competes with the ISPs could be blocked.
My workplace employs [how many] people. We depend on the web for a large percentage of our business. If we lose access to customers online, we go out of business. That’s [how many] more unemployed people in your congressional district.
We need immediate legislation to repeal the FCC’s ruling and establish net neutrality as law. If you don’t act on this, we will find a candidate who will and will vote for them instead (if you voted for your congressperson, this would be a good place to remind them of that).