Private Road by Andy Wright

Steal My Letter to Congress in Favor of Net Neutrality

Feel free to copy this letter to write to your representatives.
You can reach them online by visiting:
Battle for the Net
EFF Action
Find Your Representative

Please make sure you are educated about Net Neutrality before voting against it. This isn’t a regulation over-reach, but an over-reach by the telecom companies and a shirking of duties by the FCC.

Net Neutrality ensures that all traffic is treated equally on the internet. Keeping it in place ensures that no one is regulating the traffic and that citizens can reach whichever website or service they choose.

Clearly, the will of the people is to overwhelming keep Net Neutrality in place (86% of people). It is your job, and the President’s, to now execute the people’s vision for a free and open internet.

There is simply no good reason for rolling back these protections. The FCC would have you believe two things:

First, that deregulating broadband providers would create an influx of profit that will be used to bring broadband to underserved communities. This is a falsehood. Telecom companies continue to spend over $70B annually on infrastructure upgrades, but aren’t reaching underserved areas due to geographic challenges.

USTelecom’s own findings state:

“There is not a monolithic broadband gap, but a range of areas that do not have sufficient broadband available to them. Policies must be targeted, addressing specific problem areas, and must be flexible to allow for economically efficient solutions.
Overbroad claims of authority based on non-availability of broadband in a small subset of the country are contrary to the spirit of the Communications Act and are bad policy. So are statistical market snapshots that arbitrarily understate the extent of broadband availability and competition in order to justify broad policy intervention.”

Second, that this regulation inhibits competition. This also could not be further from the truth, despite the FCC’s branding attempt at “Restoring Internet Freedom.” Net Neutrality ensures that traffic is not regulated and should be thought of as a protection.

Think of it like a road with multiple shops on it. There are no potholes and there is parking everywhere. People can choose whatever they wish and get in and out easily. Rolling back this protection would place obstacles in from of some of those shops, allowing a 3rd party to control access, effectively inhibiting competition.

Ajit Pai, Charman of the FCC, has claimed that all of this is nothing more than “hypothetical harms and hysterical prophecies of doom.” Yet, in the FCC’s own docket (Restoring Internet Freedom Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order — WC Docket №17–108), it is explicitly called out that these regulations are being rolled back to allow broadband providers to charge more in a tiered system:

Per 249 of the FCC docket

“we expect that eliminating the ban on paid prioritization will help spur innovation and experimentation, encourage network investment, and better allocate the costs of infrastructure, likely benefiting consumers and competition.”

Again, there is no evidence to support this. Again, per US Telecom, US broadband providers make the 3rd largest investments in the world at around $70B annually. While broadband investments dropped by about $7B in 2009 due to the recession, they quickly recovered and dropped only $2B from 2015 to 2016 when Net Neutrality went into effect.

The story Ajit Pai is telling is not the real story, which is why I ask you to educate yourselves before voting. ‘Restoring Internet Freedom’ will not only hinder competition in the US, but has dramatic ramifications for free speech as well. Please represent your constituents appropriately and vote to restore Net Neutrality, the true way to restore internet freedom.

About Matthew Sekol:

Matthew Sekol has built a career on technology, backed by a degree from Penn State in English. With a mix of creativity and a passion for computers, he has a unique perspective on life, business and technology.

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English major working in technology | dad | geek | runner | writer All writings are my own opinion!

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