Net Neutrality - What it Means and What You Can Do

Image by WIni Lao

Image by WIni Lao

I got a few questions about my Instagram post on net neutrality, so I wanted to take the time to post a quick blog post on what this issue is and why it matters. There are tons of articles about this from various tech experts, so if you want more information I'll include a few relevant links throughout. 

So What is Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality is the idea that all web traffic should be treated equally. Basically, an internet service provider can't charge you more to access certain sites or web based services. Because the internet has become an essential part of everyday life, President Obama took steps to have the web treated as a public utility, thus introducing more regulation to protect consumers. Those protections are now at risk. The FCC has a new Trump appointed head that wants to eliminate net neutrality, allowing Internet Service Providers to charge you more to access certain sites. 

How Will This Affect Me?

In so many ways, but here are a few. Do you enjoy using What's App to text, call, and video chat with loved ones abroad? Imagine that capability disappearing overnight, unless you want to pay premium pricing for it. Cancelled your cable since you watch everything on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime? Imagine your internet service provider blocking or slowing all of your streaming, to force you into paying for a cable package. How many hours a day do you spend on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook? Imagine those connections being slowed to a crawl. And think about all the blogs (like this one!!), emerging social platforms, and web based apps you've never heard of that are in the works. Now imagine those never seeing the light of day because the founders can't pay for premium pricing so their websites. If you need a visual example, these photos of service in New Zealand and Portugal pretty much sum up how your internet packages could look. 

What Can I do About It?

Consumers need to band together to make our voices heard! The FCC votes on the measure on 12/14, and there are a few actions you can take to voice your opposition. Call your representative, join a protest in your city, and tell your friends to do the same! A lot of people are unaware of how important this issue is and we need to help spread the word as much as possible and a lot of people are completely unaware. Let's act now and make our voices heard!

The Great Escape: How to Get a Second Citizenship without a Sham Marriage

If you suddenly find yourself motivated to permanently escape the USA, there are a few ways to do it. Most people think the only option is to marry someone with citizenship of your desired country, but a lot of nations actually offer economic citizenship. Make an investment in the country of your choice and that becomes your point of entry. Here is where I'd go if an American exit was in the near future. Please note, this information can change quickly, especially since we are in an unstable political environment, so use this as a starting point to kick off additional research! 

Dominica

The economic citizenship program of Dominica is one of the most inexpensive options you'l find. It can be yours for just a $100,000 investment, plus there are no residency requirements. Go ahead an buy a property, then AirBnb the hell out of it until your turn a profit!  And since Dominica is a member of the British commonwealth, you'll get the added perk of visa-free travel through the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and many others. Dominica has also recently applied for visa-free travel to all EU member nations, which if approved is a huge added value that may drive-up the cost, so if you are thinking about, it start making moves fast. 

St Lucia

Image via  Telegraph.co.uk

Image via Telegraph.co.uk

Another affordable option is Saint Lucia. The $100,000 cost and 2-3 month processing speed make this a desirable option, and the fee includes dependent children under 25 and dependent parents over the age of 65, with no residency requirements. Plus you'll get visa free travel to over 100 other nations and no taxes on your worldwide income. 

Turks & Caicos

Image via Turks & Caicos  Tourism Board

Image via Turks & Caicos Tourism Board

Invest $300,000 to build a home in paradise or remodel a distressed property, and you'll get a quick residency permit.  You or your family members have to be the primary residents, so you won't get away with renting it out full time. If for some reason the idea of establishing residency on a tropical island isn't your speed, just invest $750,000 in a local business and you'll still get the same residency perks. 

Image via  Nations Online

Image via Nations Online

The Comoros Islands

If you really want to go off the beaten path, fly over to The Comoros Islands. The archipelago off the Eastern Coast of Africa. You'll get visa free travel to over 40 countries worldwide, though that doesn't include Europe, the UK or Canada. However for only a $45,000 investment, that is a non-concern.

Any destinations or updated info I missed that should be added to the list?  Let me know in the comments!