About the Manual

The Nerd Manual is meant to be both a useful resource for nerds and a guide for the people involved with nerds. If you're a nerd you can find information here that will help you improve your life and perhaps better understand yourself. If you're close friends with, dating, or married to a nerd, I want to give you insight into things nerds do that a lot of people have difficulty understanding.


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2017-06-10

Get Involved: Comment on the FCC Net Neutrality Proposal

FCC chairman Ajit Pai has pushed through the "Restoring Internet Freedom" proposal. The name sounds great, right? Let's keep the Internet free!

Actually, the entire proposal is designed to revoke net neutrality regulations, which means your Internet access can then be legally manipulated by Internet providers.

One example of what could happen without net neutrality regulations: the cable company that provides your Internet access can cripple the bandwidth on your Netflix or YouTube streaming if those companies don't pay extra to ensure they have the same download speeds as Comcast's own content.

Currently, regulations ensure that equal access is given to all consumers and providers, regardless of how much money they have. The RIF proposal gives providers carte blanche to restrict or promote access, and the proposal suggests removing the regulatory body set up to handle complaints about companies that unfairly restrict Internet access.

Every US citizen can comment on the proposal, the comments become part of the public record, and the FCC has to review every comment. If the public makes a big enough fuss, the FCC can't ignore what we want and has no recourse but to keep net neutrality in place.

When net neutrality was first being established, public commenters were so active that the website crashed. The FCC expects “significant public engagement and a high volume of filings” but it would be a huge statement about our desire to keep the Internet open to everyone if we crashed the system again.

Techcrunch has an excellent guide to making comments on proposal 17-108, so take a look and follow the steps.

It's easy, except for the part where you read the proposal, which is pretty long, but please read it because it should infuriate you to see how the FCC makes vague and hypothetical statements about how net neutrality might hurt businesses, but insists on concrete research-based evidence to support any claims as to how corporations could impinge on consumers' rights.

Get in there, browse the proposal, use the paragraph numbers to make a specific point, leave a thoughtful comment, and don't let them ignore us.

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