Earlier this month, the FCC voted to begin undoing the 2015 net neutrality rules, opening up a public commenting period before presenting a finalized proposal.
With more than two million comments already submitted, it seems unlikely that the commission will reverse course and preserve the Open Internet Order established just two years ago.
And yet — Rep. Michael Capuano is urging his supporters to continue the fight and speak their piece, to fight for something he promises is more important than most people know.
“I think there’s always a chance,” Capuano told Boston Public Radio Thursday. “They just got a massive amount of blowback for what they did on internet privacy.”
Capuano described net neutrality as a system of pipelines, each distributing equal amounts of water.
“We all have the same size pipeline, we get the same amount of information no matter what you pay,” he said. “But if the cable company can squeeze that pipeline down into a smaller pipeline, you will get a dribble of water, instead of the flow of water that you’re used to getting.”
If net neutrality dies, Capuano said, cable companies would control that flow of information through the pipeline, and certain people could pay more money for a more reliable and steady flow. This affects anyone using the internet, even though Capuano says it’s something that gets more attention in younger crowds.
“This is a generational concern,” Capuano said. “A lot of us my age and above, we struggle to understand what it means, we just turn the computer on and hope that it works. But I will tell you that when you get somebody under the age of 35 or so, they understand it, they get it.
“They get it more than us because they know how these magic machines work,” Capuano continued. “They know that when you tighten the internet pipeline and your information flows more slowly, they know what a disadvantage that is, and what you might pay to get it faster.”
Capuano is encouraging supporters to leave a comment on the FCC website, adding to the growing list. Comments will close within 90 days.
To hear Rep. Michael Capuano’s full interview with Boston Public Radio, click on the audio player above.