Hello Everyone,

On December 14th, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to take a vote to remove the Title II classification of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In effect, this will remove the FCC's authority to enforce the doctrine known as net neutrality. Net neutrality is the idea that all traffic on the Internet, regardless of its origin, should be treated equally. This doctrine is responsible for the massive success of the Internet today. It allows any company, institutions, and individuals to host their own websites and web services without the fear of having their web-traffic throttled to accommodate another company, institute or individual who has more money to pay for their traffic to be prioritized. It also prevents ISPs from throttling or being paid to throttle websites for any reason, such as, political, or ideological reasons.

Why is this important for MilkyWay@home? As a research group that survives off of donations from our wonderful volunteers and government grants, we do not have the means to pay for things like paid prioritization, or any other potential ransoms that ISPs may decide to charge in the future to transmit data. This could lead to a decrease in our workunit availability and overall reduction to our abilities to make discoveries. The repeal of net neutrality can also lead to new fees for our volunteers. For example, ISPs will be allowed to sell access to certain websites as part of "bundled" packages. This means to receive workunits from us or any other BOINC project, or visit our websites, you will have to buy into a "bundle" that includes our or other BOINC websites. In our minds, this is not a partisan issue as there is overwhelming support for net neutrality from both parties, (76% of Americans, 81% of Democrats and 73% of Republicans). [1]

If you live in the United States and would like to help protect net neutrality, the best thing you can do is contact your congressmen and senators to let them know how you feel about net neutrality, why it is important to you, and why they risk your vote in future elections if they do nothing to protect it. Additionally, if you would like to help fund larger efforts to prevent the repeal of net neutrality or if you live outside of the United States and would still like to help, consider donating the Electronic Frontier Foundation or the American Civil Liberties Union to allow them to cover the costs of the looming legal battle.

Thank you all for your continued support and I hope for everyone's sake network neutrality can be saved.

The MilkyWay@home Staff