Tag Archives: net neutrality

Net neutrality is sinking fast: Now what do we do?

Network neutrality symbol

Well, as you know – we had a pretty devastating setback on net neutrality. The FCC repealed it a couple of weeks ago. We have been talking about this here on the blog, and on our social media, because this issue is very important for libraries.

(You can scroll down to the end for action steps; or take the scenic route through the whole story!)

What Is Happening????

Net neutrality means that you can go online, on any device using any internet vendor (Verizon, Spectrum, etc) and you get just the same speed as anyone else. You can go to whatever site you want, use whatever browser you want, and do whatever you want when you are there. You mom might restrict use; but Verizon or Spectrum can’t.

Now that’s gone.

Here is a small example of what that could mean.  I have a Verizon phone, and like many people I’m on it all the time doing tons of things.  Verizon owns Yahoo, so it would now be perfectly allowable for Verizon to only allow me to go to Yahoo. If I want to use Google (because I have Gmail), Verizon could just say “Nope! No Google for you!”

More likely, they would create a special “Google Package” or something: for the low, low price of Whatever They Want dollars a month, I can access my Gmail and search for fun library stuff on Google. For a slightly higher price, I could probably also watch YouTube videos – as they are owned by Google and obviously would not be just accessible through Verizon’s standard service.

Maybe I want to access Google Classroom tools, because I need them for work. Clearly, just getting there is out of the question through a Verizon connection without some extra payments. Hopefully schools will work out a payment plan to allow students and teachers to use it at work, but you will have to figure out your own payment plan if you want to use it at home.

(Keep going past the break. The story gets so much worse for a while – but then your positive action steps wrap it up!)

Continue reading Net neutrality is sinking fast: Now what do we do?

If you like your internet access, now is the time to say so!

We are very interested in library advocacy here at CMLE HQ, and we know that not everyone feels comfortable speaking up to their stakeholders, legislators, or community members about the great work you do in libraries.

But: this is important.

The FCC is getting ready to vote on whether to end net neutrality.

Let’s say that in the tone it deserves: OMG!! ON DEC. 14, SOME PEOPLE YOU NEVER ELECTED ARE GOING TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR YOUR ACCESS TO THE INTERNET!!!!! IT’S DEFINITELY TIME TO FREAK OUT ABOUT THIS!!!!!!

Yeah, that’s right. Some guy who used to work for Verizon is now going to get to decide whether you have to pay Verizon to access the internet. Let that sink in for a moment – then absolutely return to freaking the heck out!

Network neutrality symbol

You’ve heard these words before – they are all over the news and social media. It sounds like one of those complicated issues that would be okay to just nod and say “Oh, yeah, sure – that stuff” and go on with your day.

THIS IS NOT THAT ISSUE.

In a very brief nutshell, net neutrality means that we can access the Internet any way we want. We can zip around and look at stuff we like. We can choose what sites we look at, and what we do there. While speed is not always perfect, at least it does chug along pretty quickly. Remember accessing the Internet back in the 90s? When an image would load a pixel or a line at a time on your screen?? I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK TO THE DARK AGES!!!

Ending net neutrality means that Verizon or AT&T or Spectrum (or a similar company) now owns your access to the Internet.

I have a Verizon phone. It’s fine. I use it to look at Google several dozen times a day. But!! Verizon owns Yahoo. If Verizon owns my access to the Internet, they can easily (oh, so easily) announce that everyone on Verizon’s cell coverage is now using Yahoo.

  • You want Google? Neat. That costs extra.
  • And of course, Google also owns YouTube; so you want to watch a YouTube video? That costs extra.
  • Does your school use Google Classroom or Google Docs? You aren’t getting to that on a Verizon connection!
  • Maybe your school works out a deal with Google (who doesn’t currently provide Internet service) to provide Internet service to you at work. Great. But are you at home and need to do some work? Not on a Spectrum connection – without an extra fee.

This is just one teeny example of what will happen if companies suddenly own your ability to access the Internet.

Take a moment to think how much further this will go – and then absolutely freak out. Because it’s worse than whatever you are thinking.

Remember life 20 years ago? We didn’t have constant Internet access. But life has changed! How many of us bank online – and may have to pay AT&T to get access to our money or to pay our bills? How many of us download books to listen to in the car? How many people stream really fun podcasts? Who depends on Amazon to deliver great stuff to you? Or Spotify to bring great music to you? How many of you email your family? Update your Facebook page with photos of kids and pets so your friends can keep up? Anyone play games on your phone? Have Google reading you turn by turn directions when you drive someplace new? Get access to the latest research for academic papers? Read your news online? Anyone using Duolingo to learn a new language? Anyone slightly addicted to the 24/7 live stream of the Kitten Academy?? (it’s not just me, right??) Maybe you want to watch Netflix or Hulu – but Spectrum owns your access to the Internet, and they have no economic interest in you leaving their cable channels. You might be able to get to Netflix, but it may t a k e a r e a l l y l o o o o o n g t i m e t o g e t s o m e t h i n g.

Think about the work you do every day. What do patrons do in your library? How much of it involves being able to access the internet?

This is not fantasy. This is already happening in other countries. Today. Now.

You need net neutrality for yourself.

You need net neutrality for your library.

You need net neutrality for your community.

But, you ask:
WHAT CAN I, A HUMBLE LIBRARY EMPLOYEE, DO TO STOP THIS DEBACLE????

It’s shockingly simple.

You go tell the FCC how much this will damage you, your library, your patrons, and your community. Or, just pick one of those things. The important thing is to GO SAY SOMETHING!!

Where do you do this shocking simple thing??

WEBSITE: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express

Open that link on a computer, not a mobile device.

I’m there! Now what???

  • They ask for a proceedings number. This is: 17-108.
  • Type your name. (All government forms ask for this; hopefully it keeps down the spam bots.)
  • Type your address (I used my work address. I had to look it up, and that was the toughest part of the whole process)

I’m in the groove! What do I say??

Speak from your heart. Identify yourself as a library employee, if you want to. Tell them about a patron who used the internet today to find a wonderful book, to access their veteran’s benefits, to talk with their grand-kids who live across the country. Tell them about the training you do to help people use the Internet. Tell them how much you love accessing any site that makes you happy.

Remember to ask for the specific thing you want: Free and fast access to the Internet!!

ACK!!! I got scared!! It sounded hard!!! I didn’t do anything!! NOW WHAT??

Deep breath in; deep breath out.

Just go back and follow the directions. Share your voice. Be heard! Speak for your community.

What is at stake here???

Verizon, AT&T, Spectrum – these companies depend on us getting scared, or assuming someone else will handle it so that everything turns out okay.

They have lots of high priced lobbyists who cheerfully offer to write regulations that make them rich. It’s their jobs. Neat in some situations; but here that just means one thing: “Give us money or you get nothing. Enjoy your blocked and throttled Internet libraries!! You guys don’t have big budgets to pay us, so good luck with whatever scraps we throw to you!”

(I’m paraphrasing. But that is the message, if not the exact wording.)

You don’t have high priced lobbyists. You just have us. We just have you.

No pressure here, but…the fate of library service as you know it depends on a free access to the Internet.

So, yeah. It’s kind of a big deal.

If you contact legislators and stakeholders all the time: excellent. Tell them about your feelings on net neutrality.

If you have never contacted a legislator, or never wanted to raise your voice, or to get involved – this is not the time to be shy or neutral. We need you. You need the Internet. (How else are you going to read these fun blog posts? Or download our Books and Beverages book group podcast???)

Why are you still here????

GO TELL THE FCC HOW MUCH YOU NEED ACCESS TO THE INTERNET!!

(Then, forward this post to every single person you know!!!)

THANK YOU FOR SAVING THE INTERNET!!!!!

Award yourself one Official Superhero point for helping to save the Internet for us all!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/info_grrl/8926992700

 

Extremely Important Library Topic: Net Neutrality is in Danger!!

We are very interested in library advocacy here at CMLE HQ, and we know that not everyone feels comfortable speaking up to their stakeholders, legislators, or community members about the great work you do in libraries.

But: this is important.

The FCC is getting ready to vote on whether to end net neutrality.

Network neutrality symbol

You’ve heard these words before – they are all over the news and social media. It sounds like one of those complicated issues that would be okay to just nod and say “Oh, yeah, sure – that stuff” and go on with your day.

THIS IS NOT THAT ISSUE.

In a very brief nutshell, net neutrality means that we can access the Internet any way we want. We can zip around and look at stuff we like.  We can choose what sites we look at, and what we do there. While speed is not always perfect, at least it does chug along pretty quickly. Remember accessing the Internet back in the 90s? When an image would load a pixel or a line at a time on your screen?? I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK TO THE DARK AGES!!!

Ending net neutrality means that Verizon or AT&T or Spectrum (or a similar company) now owns your access to the Internet.

I have a Verizon phone. It’s fine. I use it to look at Google several dozen times a day. But!! Verizon owns Yahoo. If Verizon owns my access to the Internet, they can easily (oh, so easily) announce that everyone on Verizon’s cell coverage is now using Yahoo.

  • You want Google? Neat. That costs extra.
  • And of course, Google also owns YouTube; so you want to watch a YouTube video? That costs extra.
  • Does your school use Google Classroom or Google Docs? You aren’t getting to that on a Verizon connection!
  • Maybe your school works out a deal with Google (who doesn’t currently provide Internet service) to provide Internet service to you at work. Great. But are you at home and need to do some work? Not on a Spectrum connection – without an extra fee.

This is just one teeny example of what will happen if companies suddenly own your ability to access the Internet.

Take a moment to think how much further this will go – and then absolutely freak out. Because it’s worse than whatever you are thinking.

Remember life 20 years ago? We didn’t have constant Internet access. But life has changed! How many of us bank online – and may have to pay AT&T to get access to our money or to pay our bills?  How many of us download books to listen to in the car? How many people stream really fun podcasts? Who depends on Amazon to deliver great stuff to you? Or Spotify to bring great music to you? How many of you email your family? Update your Facebook page with photos of kids and pets so your friends can keep up? Anyone play games on your phone? Have Google reading you turn by turn directions when you drive someplace new? Get access to the latest research for academic papers? Read your news online?  Anyone using Duolingo to learn a new language? Anyone slightly addicted to the 24/7 live stream of the Kitten Academy?? (it’s not just me, right??) Maybe you want to watch Netflix or Hulu – but Spectrum owns your access to the Internet, and they have no economic interest in you leaving their cable channels. You might be able to get to Netflix, but it may t a k e  a  r e a l l y  l o o o o o n g   t i m e  t o  g e t  s o m e t h i n g.

Think about the work you do every day. What do patrons do in your library? How much of it involves being able to access the internet?

This is not fantasy. This is already happening in other countries. Today. Now.

You need net neutrality for yourself.

You need net neutrality for your library.

You need net neutrality for your community.

But, you ask:
WHAT CAN I, A HUMBLE LIBRARY EMPLOYEE, DO TO STOP THIS DEBACLE????

It’s shockingly simple.

You go tell the FCC how much this will damage you, your library, your patrons, and your community. Or, just pick one of those things. The important thing is to GO SAY SOMETHING!!

Where do you do this shocking simple thing??

WEBSITE: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express

Open that link on a computer, not a mobile device.

I’m there! Now what???

  • They ask for a proceedings number. This is: 17-108.
  • Type your name. (All government forms ask for this; hopefully it keeps down the spam bots.)
  • Type your address (I used my work address. I had to look it up, and that was the toughest part of the whole process)

I’m in the groove now! What do I say??

Speak from your heart. Identify yourself as a library employee, if you want to. Tell them about a patron who used the internet today to find a wonderful book, to access their veteran’s benefits, to  talk with their grandkids who live across the country. Tell them about the training you do to help people use the Internet. Tell them how much you love accessing any site that makes you happy.

Remember to ask for the specific thing you want: Free and fast access to the Internet!!

ACK!!! I got scared!! It sounded hard!!! I didn’t do anything!! NOW WHAT??

Deep breath in; deep breath out.

Just go back and follow the directions. Share your voice. Be heard! Speak for your community.

Verizon, AT&T, Spectrum  – these companies depend on us getting scared, or assuming someone else will handle it so that everything turns out okay.

They have lots of high priced lobbyists who cheerfully offer to write regulations that make them rich. It’s their jobs. They are babbling about “free markets” and “let the market decide.” Neat in some situations; but here that just means one thing: “Give us money or you get nothing. Enjoy your blocked and throttled Internet libraries!! You guys don’t have big budgets to pay us, so good luck with whatever scraps we throw to you!”

(I’m paraphrasing here. But that is the message, if not the exact wording.)

You don’t have high priced lobbyists. You just have us. We just have you.

No pressure here, but…the fate of library service as you know it depends on a free access to the Internet.

So, yeah. It’s kind of a big deal.

If you contact legislators and stakeholders all the time: excellent.  Tell them about your feelings on net neutrality.

If you have never contacted a legislator, or never wanted to raise your voice, or to get involved – this is not the time to be shy or neutral. We need you. You need the Internet. (How else are you going to read these fun blog posts? Or download our Books and Beverages book group podcast???)

Why are you still here????

GO TELL THE FCC HOW MUCH YOU NEED ACCESS TO THE INTERNET!!

(Then, forward this post to every single person you know!!!)

THANK YOU FOR SAVING THE INTERNET!!!!!

Award yourself one Official Superhero point for helping to save the Internet for us all!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/info_grrl/8926992700

 

Net Neutrality Under Attack: How the FCC’s vote is likely to affect libraries

NetNeutrality logo

From American Libraries, by

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted today to begin dissolving Obama-era regulations regarding net neutrality, and reactions from the library community are not positive.

“I see it as a trend that is going to take us backward in time,” says Mike Robinson, professor of library science and head of the systems department at the Consortium Library of the University of Alaska Anchorage. “The internet is supposed to represent a democratization of access to information, and libraries are part of that democratization movement. Getting rid of net neutrality undermines that.”

The American Library Association (ALA) agrees, releasing a May 18 statement from ALA President Julie B. Todaro. “Net neutrality is critical to ensuring open and nondiscriminatory access to information for all, and today’s actions by the FCC endanger that,” the statement reads. “We are at risk of maximizing profits for commercial [internet service providers] and large content providers, while degrading internet access and choice for libraries and ultimately all consumers.” Continue reading Net Neutrality Under Attack: How the FCC’s vote is likely to affect libraries

ALA gears up for renewed net neutrality fight

“CHICAGO – This week Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans to roll back net neutrality provisions. The Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to begin the process at its May 18 meeting.  The American Library Association (ALA) and its divisions are organizing to protect and preserve the open internet.

Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking specific services or websites. Net neutrality is essential for library and educational institutions to carry out our missions and support freedom of speech, educational achievement, research and economic growth. The internet has become the primary platform for learning, collaboration and interaction among students, faculty, library patrons, local communities and the world.

The ALA has been on the front lines of this battle with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Congress, and the courts for more than a decade, working in coalition with other library and higher education organizations, as well as broader coalitions of net neutrality advocates. Last week, ALA President Julie Todaro penned an op-ed for the Hill reminding Washington how critical an open internet is for access to information and the communities we serve.

Librarians and library workers know that even subtle differences in internet transmission speeds can make a great difference in how a user receives, uses and shares digital information. We must ensure the same quality access to online educational and noncommercial content as to entertainment and for-profit offerings. Without net neutrality, we are at risk of maximizing profits for commercial ISPs and large content providers, and degrading internet access and choice for all.

The ALA and its divisions are preparing the next steps and strategies to maintain hard-won protections. Members can join the effort by blogging, tweeting and sharing why an open internet matters to you, your library and your community. In addition, several net neutrality allies are beginning to collect signatures and deliver them to Chairman Pai. Here are just two: