As more and more Internet service providers (ISP’s) begin to discriminate between different types of Internet traffic—undermining the very principles that made the Internet what it is—it is more important than ever that you contact your congressional representatives and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and encourage them to support Net Neutrality policies and legislation. In particular, please encourage the FCC to classify ISP’s as common carrier telecommunication services.
I have written about Net Neutrality before—here is a good review from 2009. As I pointed out there, this issue is one of the rare ones where increased federal regulation is both constitutionally permitted and necessary to prevent abuse. It is unfortunate that many politicians, particularly on the Republican side of the aisle, don’t seem to understand how essential Net Neutrality is to the future of the Internet and to our national economy. A neutral net gave birth to Google, YouTube, Facebook, and so many other scrappy startups that later became economic powerhouses. Let’s not ruin a good thing.
It would be illegal for power companies to limit what you choose to use electricity for. It would be illegal for phone companies to degrade the quality of tech support calls to companies that didn’t want to pay an ‘enhanced service fee.’ ISP’s are stewards of an essential utility infrastructure that is not much different from those provided by power and phone companies. They must be held to these same kinds of standards. We cannot permit ISP’s to pick and choose what kinds of Internet traffic they will carry unfettered, which they will restrict or slow down, and which they will block entirely.
Please watch this excellent video from CGP Gray, and take some time to contact the FCC and your elected representatives.