I’m sure most of you have heard of Net Neutrality for some time by now. Please do not forget to stay current with your representatives’ view on this important issue. Your ability to connect to sites like MySpace.com, Care2.com, ACLU.org, or Eff.org could be at risk. Even if you’ve acted before, following up is important.
If you have not already done so (or if it has been a while), please do the following:
- Visit http://www.savetheinternet.com/ for background information on this issue.
- If you are in the USA, find out where your representatives in Congress stand.
- If you are in the USA, also sign this petition.
- If you are on MySpace, add SaveTheInternet as your friend.
- If you blog, sign up to join the corps of bloggers
helping to save the Internet.
Nothing beats directly communicating with your government representatives. While the Net Neutrality laws being discussed are focused on the USA, this problem has worldwide impact. If you live in or work in another country, request your country’s government to apply pressure on the USA to insist on Net Neutrality — REAL Net Neutrality — so that your country’s access to Internet services is not harmed. Whether it’s a good thing or not (probably not), much of the world’s Internet is hosted and/or operated within the United States, so its laws are very far-reaching. Big companies like AT&T and Verizon with a global presence are pushing for relaxing or eliminating Net Neutrality. Contact them and tell them how much you are opposed to their efforts.
Below is the letter I wrote to my representatives in Congress:
I am a business owner and your constituent writing to urge you to vote NO on Senator Stevens’ telecommunications bill (H.R. 5252 / S. 2686) unless real Net Neutrality language is added.
I have been using the Internet since 1990, back before the World Wide Web was graphical. Years ago I helped bring the first community-based Internet service provider (ISP) to San Luis Obispo, California, and I have seen firsthand the incredible growth, promise, and potential of the Internet. I have seen the world shrink from an unimaginably big place to a place where I now have friends in probably over 50 different countries. I have seen small businesses compete, and often outperform, bigger companies that were slow to adopt.
Companies like Amazon.com, Yahoo.com, and Google.com have become part of nearly every person’s life on this planet. How did that happen? Because the Internet is the only place on this planet that is not fragmented and sectionalized into fiefdoms and regulated by profits.
Net Neutrality is vitally important to the ongoing success of the Internet. Without it, there will no longer be an Internet as we know it. There will be subnets where your ISP becomes your programming director. It won’t be blatant at first, but over time, you will get only what you pay for. To get more of the Internet, you will have to pay more ISPs for access to their preferred content. Sure, the companies are arguing that now, but without laws in place to enforce net neutrality, these companies’ guarantees are meaningless.
Do what is right for the world and the future. Please vote NO on Senator Stevens’ telecommunications bill (H.R. 5252 / S. 2686) unless real Net Neutrality language is added that prohibits network operators from discriminating against content and creating a tiered Internet. I will be following your actions related to this matter. Thank you for your time.