US net neutrality matters to Canadians. Here’s why.

On Dec. 14, the US Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2, along party lines, to repeal the Obama administration’s net neutrality regulations.

If you live north of the Great Lakes, you might be scratching your head, wondering why in the blazes you should are about this.

Do you use iTunes? Netflix? Anything Google-based? Amazon? Stream music or games of any variety?

Odds are, if you answered yes to any of those questions, the proposed changes to net neutrality would mean more dollars out of your pocket.

“Many of the content services that Canadians consumer most highly are American,” professor Amiee Morrison from the University of Waterloo told the CBC. Sites like YouTube and those mentioned above would have to negotiate with US-based ISP “to make sure their content is available in the U.S. Pay-to-ply internet in the U.S. could hurt Canadian firms trying to compete,” the article continues.

This creates a pay-to-play environment and, in order to maintain access and stay relevant, Canadian companies will likely have to pay to prevent service interruptions.

Laura Tribe, executive director of the Open Media digital rights advocacy group, says the end of codified net neutrality in the US would “put all of the control of what we see online, what we are able to do online and access online, into those service providers. (It takes) the control away from the customers and (is) actually giving that to the companies.”

So now that the FCC voted, where do things stand?

First, let’s pause to see what Mark Hamill’s doing.

Not only is he enjoying another record-setting premiere weekend for the latest Star Wars movie, he’s talking trash with a US politician about net neutrality.

What brought that on? Here:

Good flippin’ grief.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, thought it would be super nifty cool and not at all sad and embarrassing to release this video to try and prove that his proposed net neutrality regs would not change a single thing about the internet.

How many out-of-date things did you count? I’m up to at least half a dozen.

By the way, that brunette lady dancing next to Pai during the (yawn) Harlem Shake? Yeah… read up on her and be even more skeptical.

Anyway, the vote is in. Now the lawsuits and state-level regulatory challenges start.

The Attorney General of New York, Eric Schneiderman (he of ticket bot-fighting fame) and 10 of his friends are going to sue the FCC over some two million fraudulent signatures on petitions filed in support of the proposed changes.

At least 17 states have announced they’ll be taking steps to protect their residents from having to pay more to access social media sites, certain other websites and otherwise completely derail Pai’s proposals.

The ACLU also is working on putting pressure on members of Congress and considering their own potential legal courses of action to prevent these ridiculous BS regulations from becoming the future of the internet.

Long story short: It ain’t over yet. Stay tuned.

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