The FCC’s Open Internet Rules (net neutrality rules) are extremely important to me. I urge you to protect them- and I do so because they affect me, like millions of other Americans.
My name is Anna, and as an American I live in a small rural farming community in North Central Oklahoma. The service provided to my area is already incredibly limited to a handful of providers who all offer subpar services that do not meet the needs of I or my community.
When you are the only affordable, realistic, or even remotely viable ISP option for upwards of 7,000 people then there is no need to compete, improve your services, or even innovate. They already have the market cornered, after all, so why should they? But taking away the regulations which prevent ISPs from throttling internet connections, allows them to fastlane certain websites, and more, would only add to this lack of competition and innovation- something which will have a far reaching and negative impact for me, my community, and thousands of other Americans in similar circumstances.
Such a deregulation would also have serious additional impacts on me as a business owner; it could mean that traffic to various aspects of my business- for which an online presence, online networking, and online resources are integral to growth- is throttled, thereby limiting my ability to garner new customers and provide for current ones. Additionally, such throttling by my current company could mean that I would be forced- if unhappy with their service- to move to a company with an already inferior product simply because they do not throttle or perform such actions. Even then, however, current and potential costumers of mine may be with other companies who continue to throttle services to my site or its host company irregardless of whether or not my own company does.
And this is not a hysterical “what if”, either. Censorship by ISPs is a serious problem and has been since before the battle for Net Neutrality began; Comcast has throttled Netflix. AT&T blocked FaceTime. Time Warner Cable throttled the popular videogame League of Legends. And it is not just these companies, either… Verizon itself- the company to whom Chairman Pai used to act as a Lawyer- admitted that it intends to introduce fast lanes for sites that pay (and slow lanes for everyone else) if the FCC lifts the rules. Worse, the Courts have made it clear that- if the FCC ends the current Title II classification- the FCC must let ISPs perform such actions, and Chairman Pai has made clear that he intends to do exactly that.
I’m sending this to the FCC’s open proceeding, but I worry that Chairman Pai (a former Verizon lawyer) has already made his plans and will ignore me and millions of other Americans. So I’m also sending this to my members of Congress… And to everyone who receives this letter I say this as an American citizen, Businesswoman, consumer, and Patriot, with sorrow in my heart:
Ultimately you sit at the precipice of an integral choice- one which is between the American people and the future growth and development of the American economy… And corporations who continue to do everything in their power to hamfistedly squeeze every ounce of profit out of the American people that they can (even if it means destroying innovation, and especially if it means destroying competition).
Do you allow ISPs the power to block websites, slow them down, give some sites an advantage over others, or split the Internet into “fast lanes” for companies that pay and “slow lanes” for the rest- thereby limiting the economical and other growth of the market and benefiting only the largest ISPs (and their own pockets)… Or do you choose not to do so, maintain Net Neutrality, and preserve the ability not just for average people but for new and small business owners to reach their full potential?
Because make no mistake: With the deregulation of ISPs in such a manner, that potential will never be reached; the spirit of America, and of American Innovation, is reliant on a free and open market to continue bringing us (and the world) the wonderful things that it does. But ultimately these actions (and this decision) hurts that market.
You can’t genuinely “innovate” or “compete” when it’s only a handful of people playing the game in the first place. And whether we would like to recognize it or not? In the technological era that we live in, the internet plays an integral role in that- and that only becomes more true as we move further into an era reliant on digital technology to function, to connect, to consult, to work together to continue building bigger, better products, get in touch with customers, advertise our wares, and so much more.
Please publicly support the FCC’s existing net neutrality rules based on Title II, and denounce Chairman Pai’s plans. Do whatever you can to dissuade him, the Courts, and the Corporations of America from enacting their plan… The economy of America, the spirit of American Innovation, and I, all depend on it.
This letter is a modified and more personalized version of the letter provided by Battle For the Net. To join the fight for continued Net Neutrality click on the link, send your own letter, call your Representatives, and let your voice be heard.