By Mac Clemmens, Free Press
At this point you’re probably getting tired of hearing long, complex arguments about the importance of Net Neutrality.
The thing is, it’s not complicated at all. It’s as simple as “Leave the internet alone.”
Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon the corporations whose backfired lawsuit ultimately brought the net neutrality protections we now enjoy, need to mind their own business and get back to building better broadband across America. Right now, we’re 23rd in the world and falling, not only in speed, but in the price we pay. Why? Because big telecom has stopped betting on infrastructure. Instead of focusing on expanding fiber and wireless access (which we desperately need, especially in rural areas), it has spent millions trying to lobby away the rules that forbid it from manipulating internet traffic. That’s not good for anyone, and it’s especially bad for small business.The open Internet has made it possible to rely on a free market where each of us has the chance to bring our best business ideas to the world without interference or seeking permission from any gatekeeper first.
When I was 20 years old, I was able to start a web development company from my dorm room. I was able to build sites for many nonprofit organizations that inspired me. One of our first projects was with WEAVE, a domestic violence prevention agency. WEAVE’s site delivered critical information to people in crisis. Because of net neutrality, their site can load just as fast as any other—limited only by the speed of our servers. Today, I have that to thank for a multimillion dollar company that has built websites for Google, the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, the University of California, and many others.
This is the power of a free and open internet. WEAVE’s clients didn’t have to wait in a “slow lane” while advertisers buzzed by. That’s why I am concerned with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposal to roll back its existing strong net neutrality rules.
Newer businesses like mine needed Net Neutrality to get our fair shot. Let’s tell the FCC to protect it and “Leave the internet alone”. Support Net Neutrality.