Target: Tom Wheeler, Federal Communications Commission Chairman
Goal: Demand that the Internet be reclassified as a public utility to protect consumers from corporations’ for-profit meddling
Relentless pressure from consumers, watchdog groups and activists has moved the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconsider earlier plans to create a pay-to-play “fast lane” for the Internet. Critics emphasize that changes to the plan don’t go far enough to protect what is known as net neutrality. There is still time for consumers to chime in and offer feedback, including on whether or not the Internet should be reclassified as a public utility.
Millions of American and international users would be negatively affected if Internet companies are allowed to charge content providers for faster access speed. Those unable to pay would struggle to find an audience, severely limiting innovation and independent voices in journalism and the arts.
While there’s a good chance that public outcry can save net neutrality this win could be temporary. Protecting broadband Internet as a public utility would keep access more equitable for consumers while preserving a level playing field for a greater diversity of perspectives. Tell the FCC that reclassification is the only way to help the Internet realize its true potential to benefit humanity.
Dear Chairman Wheeler,
I am pleased to know that the FCC has been taking heed of recent criticism regarding plans to allow paid prioritization for the Internet. Consumers of online content, independent news outlets and technology pioneers (among others) have all spoken out against regulations that would end net neutrality. The only interests advocating for this change are the Internet service providers who stand to profit from it.
While recent amendments to your earlier proposal might sound good, they still allow for paid prioritization. My hope is that you ultimately decide to advance regulations that protect net neutrality now and for future generations. Reclassifying the Internet as a public utility is by far the best solution.
The Internet is too valuable a tool for research, dissemination of knowledge and communication across borders for its fate to be sold to the highest bidder. Rather it should belong to all people and be regulated to prevent profit-hungry corporations from reducing the quality of services. Instead of killing innovation as some companies have suggested, this reclassification could herald a new age of public investment.
I urge you to heed the diverse voices, such as Craig Aaron, President of Free Press, who have already called for the Internet to be reclassified as a public utility. Without such a move corporations will continue to erode net neutrality for their own personal gain and to the detriment of the global public.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Siamackz via Wikimedia Commons