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On Net Neutrality

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On Net Neutrality

Post by Dan » July 12th, 2017, 11:33 pm

I thoroughly debated making this post, but I decided to go through with it, seeing as there could foreseeably be an impact on Sidosi, the conlang community as a whole, and of course the entire Internet. I typically do not discuss politics online, but with the recent debate in the U.S., and seeing that both the domain registrar of sidosi.org and Sidosi's web host have been vocal about the current issue in the U.S., I feel I should explain how this issue is relevant to us.

What is net neutrality?
Quite simply, net neutrality is the equal treatment of all Internet traffic. This concept means that for every bit of data you download from or upload to the Internet, whether it's text, image, video, or any other type, your connection will not be sped up or slowed down depending on that type of data, nor will your connection be modified based on where that data is being downloaded from or uploaded to. In addition, every bit of data will count equally toward any data cap.

What net neutrality is not
Net neutrality is not about antitrust issues, so the issues of corporate mergers and anti-competitive practices aren't relevant. Net neutrality is also not about whether or not data caps should exist. Finally, although it is a current issue, net neutrality is not about "the end of the open Internet". It is certainly a crucial issue to address, but the Internet will not suddenly become a "walled garden" if net neutrality is not present.

How net neutrality affects Sidosi and conlang communities
Net neutrality, or rather, the lack of it, can certainly affect conlang communities like Sidosi. Many conlang communities make use of images, audio, and video to show scripts, spoken word, and other documentation of their language. Without net neutrality, access to those resources could be slowed down or subject to a special data cap, preventing easy access by some members of that community and in the end, hurting that community. As all of us here at Sidosi know, access to resources about our language is critical to its growth and progression.

Call to Action
Do your research. Find out the current net neutrality laws in your country. Look at how those laws impact you and everyone in your country, and form your opinion. Then, contact your government representative(s) and tell them how you feel about your country's net neutrality laws. Unfortunately, there is no full list to post, but here is a list of international government websites. You could also try Googling "contact <your county> government representatives". To comment on the current U.S. Restoring Internet Freedom Act, go to the FCC's page for the act, and click "+Express" on the left side of the page.

In any case, I maintain my opinion that everyone's voice should be heard when it comes to politics. Due to the current situation in the U.S., the issue today is about net neutrality, but this post applies to any political issue. Do your research, form your opinion, and tell your government officials how you feel.

Note: In the interest of not silencing others, I will allow political discussions about this post in the replies. If it gets out of hand, action will be taken. Remember the Community Guidelines!

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