Target: Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Goal: Urge congressional leaders to pass the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act to preserve internet equality
Diverse consumers’ improved ability to access the internet has profoundly influenced our society. Equal access for competitive content has spurred innovation, allowed for a renaissance in community organizing and changed the face of politics. The government is considering new rules which would allow internet service providers (ISPs) to prioritize how quickly and reliably information on the internet reaches consumers, all for a fee. This would allow your ISP to block or charge you to use specific websites, and slow down or block websites that refuse to pay them. An internet that favors the ideas with the most money behind them instead of the best ideas, or the most accurate information, is clearly not in consumers’ best interest.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which regulates communication technologies, is considering rules which would eliminate a requirement for internet providers to treat all traffic equally. This would alter websites’ load times based on how much companies and individuals are willing to pay, allow ISPs to make exclusivity agreements with companies, block websites they consider competition and even charge consumers for access to specific content.
For example, Apple could pay Comcast to make Apple TV its official video provider while blocking other sites like Netflix. Comcast could block Skype because it competes with the phone service the company wants to sell you, or could block your access to Facebook and Twitter unless you pay extra for a “social media package.” On top of being bad for consumers and stifling innovation, these new rules would be especially devastating to grassroots campaigns which don’t have and aren’t planning on making lots of money.
Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative Doris Matsui have introduced the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act which would force ISPs to treat all internet traffic equally. Tell congress to pass this vital bill and preserve internet equality.
Dear Representative Boehner and Senator Reid,
I am very concerned about changes to FCC rules that would allow internet service providers to charge content companies for so-called “internet fast lanes.” These new rules would kill the spirit of innovation on the internet which has kept America at the forefront of technology and business. Paid prioritization is clearly not in the best interest of consumers.
Remember your commitment to serve all the citizens of the United States rather than just the wealthiest corporations. Support Senator Patrick Leahy’s and Representative Doris Matsui’s Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act and maintain the requirement for ISPs to treat all internet traffic equally.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: US Department of Education via Flickr