Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today we are here for an important bonus episode!

We’ll be talking about an issue that affects the future of All Ears English, but more importantly it affects innovation, creativity, and access to the Internet for low income people. 

Today we are also talking about a freedom of speech issue which is an important value in the United States.

We are talking about the Internet.

More specifically, we are talking about the issue of Net Neutrality and how it will be at risk and will depend on a vote that will be taken on December 14th.

We’ll show you what it means for you and what you can do today.


What is happening with net neutrality?

On Dec 14th the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is taking a vote to change the Internet.

Technically they want to overturn the current protections on Net Neutrality which were put into place during the Obama era.

These protections treat internet access more like a utility which keeps it free and open for anyone to ask at the same speed.


What does this mean?

It means that as early as January or February 2018, the rules could be taken off the books that protect open access to the Internet.

Internet Service Providers like Comcast wouldn’t have any restrictions from charging more for you, as an Internet user, to use certain apps or from speeding up certain websites if they paid more.

They would also be able to slow down other websites if they did not pay. 

This could create a tiered system online and it could mean that small companies like All Ears English that do not have a lot of extra money would not be as visible on the web as large companies like Rosetta Stone would be.

This would also create a barrier for anyone who is concerned about a social justice issue and wants to get their voice heard.

Their sites may not be as visible as larger companies that can pay more.


Why are people not acting on this?

We are distracted.

The general public is entranced with the latest Trump tweet, but it’s the things like this that are happening behind the scenes that could be the most harmful to our society and economy in the long run.

India on the other hand has recently voted to strengthen their net neutrality protection.

If you are from India we’d like to hear your thoughts on that.


What can you do?

If this concerns you and you want to take action or just learn more about the issue, follow our suggestions below.

  1. Go online and research the issue to make sure you understand it. Form your own opinion. Seek out credible sources that present both sides of the issue. You can also watch this funny video by John Oliver on Net Neutrality.
  2. If this disturbs you like it does us then there are a few actions you can take:
    1. If you live in the United States you can call all of your congress people in your state and tell them that you DO NOT support a repeal of net neutrality and that you want net neutrality to remain in place with Title 2 protections. If enough of us call it actually would force congress people to potentially try to slow this down. You must do this now because the vote will take place on December 14th!
    2. If you live in the US you can file a complaint on the FCC website- enter 17-108 in the proceedings record
  3. If you have family members or friends who are living in the US, especially if they are living in a Republican majority state then talk to them about this. Are they aware of the issue? Reach out to them on Facebook. Share a video. Find out what they think. Ask them to call their congress people. Get them talking about it and ask them share it with others. Make sure they understand what is at stake here.

Another place you can go is here and you will get links to plenty of information to get informed and take action.


Vocab to use when you talk to people about political issues:

  • “Hey have you heard about what’s going on with Net Neutrality and the FCC?”
  • “What are your thoughts on the issue?”
  • “What do you think about Net Neutrality?”
  • “Did you see that funny John Oliver video about Net Neutrality?”


What are your thoughts?

Leave us a comment or a question below.

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