I don’t often ask people who read my books and/or follow me online to do something, but I feel like this is important. Net Neutrality is being threatened by a consortium of private businesses and the American federal government (via the instrument of the FCC).
What does this mean? Well, others can explain it better than I can, but in short: The bodies who deliver internet content to you (such as your cable company) are attempting to change the rules so that they can A) make more money, B) control the availability of specific content, and C) stifle competition. You may be wondering how any of this helps you, the end consumer. The answer is: It doesn’t. You will end up paying more for less, and you will have fewer options for redress.
The fact of the matter is that the internet is at the center of every economic, social, and artistic endeavor you can imagine. Restricting or rerouting its behavior to the advantage of a cartel of corporations means that — slowly, but surely — you will begin to lose out on the benefits of a free, open, and unrestricted flow of commerce, creativity, and ideas that the internet has fostered for the past two decades.
So, please let the FCC and the federal government know that you won’t stand for this. It’s actually pretty easy.
1) Take a few moments to sign this petition at WhiteHouse.gov. I know what you’re thinking — online petitions never solve anything! But if this petition gets 100,000 signatures, then the White House has to respond. This is one way to get their attention.
2) Call FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. I know, I know — it seems like a big thing to do: To actually use your smartphone as a phone and call a top government official. But guess what? It’s totally what we’re supposed to do as citizens in a democracy. It’s our job to tell the government what we think.
Call 1-202-418-1000 and tell whoever answers that you support Net Neutrality. The folks at FreePress.net have a script you can even follow, if you’re not sure of yourself:
I’m calling to urge Chairman Wheeler to scrap the FCC’s plan to allow Internet service providers to charge for preferential treatment.
These rules would destroy Net Neutrality. I urge the chairman to throw them out and instead reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service. This is the only way to restore real Net Neutrality.
If you don’t want to call, send an email to: open firstname.lastname@example.org. Write what you think, or use the above as a template.
So, there you go! I’ve already done both of these and I feel better knowing that I’ve done so.