Here in America, it’s easy to take internet freedom for granted. Since the earliest days of the World Wide Web, access to information has been democratic—everyone has equal right to post information online, and everyone has equal right to find and receive information.
But that may change.
The Federal Communications Commission is considering new regulations that may benefit large corporations at the expense of small, ordinary people. This little video explains the situation well:
Fighting for Net Neutrality
Net Neutrality is important to me because I depend on the internet to share ideas, gather information, receive encouragement, learn new skills, and serve other people. Many of the companies and nonprofits I work for are small. Many of the people who hire me have limited resources. Our ideas and services and values are just as worthy as those of Comcast, or Google, or Mark Zuckerburg, but if we have to pay more to share them, we will never be able to compete. Net Neutrality gives us a chance to be heard.
If you want to fight for Net Neutrality, here are a few things you can do:
Clicking the link above will take you to a page where you’ll have to create a whitehouse.gov account. After you do that and verify your email address, signing the petition is as easy as clicking a button. Once you click, your initials will be added to the roster.
The link above opens to the FCC’s Electronic Filing System. It’s not completely clear from the page, but I believe this online form will attach your comment to a proceeding about Net Neutrality that has already been filed. The maker of the video recommends that in the comment field, you tell the FCC to reclassify broadband internet as a Title II common carrier telecomunications service. (If you’d like to understand this strategy, look for Tim Wu’s article in The New Yorker; he’s the guy who coined the term “net neutrality.”)
3. Contact Chairman Tom Wheeler
I used the form at the link above to send this message to the FCC Chair: “Chairman Wheeler, I understand how tempting it must be to regulate the internet in a way that benefits large corporations at the expense of ordinary people like me. So I am asking you to do what’s right for a democratic society and ensure equal access to information. I have signed a petition to defend net neutrality, and I hope my little voice will not be drowned out by the wealth and power that want more control of the internet.”
If you prefer to call Mr. Wheeler, here’s his phone number: 202-418-1000.
Making a difference
I confess, I am somewhat cynical about our elected officials’ interest in serving the people who elected them, but there are glimmers of hope. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that together you and I stopped SOPA.
Let’s see what we can do in the fight for Net Neutrality.