The battleground over net neutrality takes place over five million comments left by five million people (well, minus the corporate-hired robots), who have told FCC Chairman Ajit Pai what they think about his plan to kill the consumer protection, which ensures that corporations don’t get to decide what data the internet shows you.
The FCC’s public filings section for Docket 17-108, a proposed rule-making that would turn back the Obama-era policy of net neutrality, has seen a deluge of protest, thanks to the concentrated efforts of John Oliver and a bunch of tech companies. The comments have been almost overwhelmingly opposed to the new proposal, despite thousands of spam-bots making fraudulent posts, and a short scroll down the very, very long list turns up several impassioned arguments for keeping the internet free and open for all.
I work for a corporation, and they are not people
Look, I don’t know if you’re going to read this. At this point there are 4 million comments along this vein, but I would reiterate: DO NOT END NET NEUTRALITY. I work for a large corporation (a fortune-50 oil company, in fact), and I know that ‘Corporations are not People.’ They exercise no morality. In spite of having some similar rights as individuals, they have no concept of self, and yet, paradoxically, can be expected, without exception, to act in very selfish ways. They have no obligation or desire to look out for the rights of others. And isn’t that exactly the role of government? We elect PEOPLE (with a true sense of self), with whom we identify, to legislate for the common good, not the individual bottom line. Please consider very carefully what you do with our newest public utility. My personal feelings aside, a policy of Net Neutrality is a rational and right way to manage the internet.
Net neutrality is important, no matter who you voted for
I voted for Trump, and I support net neutrality. ISP’s need to be regulated closely and ISP’s cannot be incentivised to limit bandwidth or access. to streaming subscriptions. The notion that ISP’s are not going to be tempted to filter content for a new revenue source is staggering. It starts with Netflix and ends with political control. A Tax Break to slow down Breitbart, a grant to slow mother jones, or a multi-million dollar investment to prevent a new social network from competing. We voted for Trump because we know corruption exists, that corruption is limited by net neutrality rules. Democrats seemingly always advance control faster than conservatives, let’s not make this a new rule.
Unless you live in a big city, the ISPs have unfair monopolies
Net neutrality is a fundamental right of the internet. Much like freedom of speech, it is a necessary function under which the internet has seen explosive growth. Losing this right by allowing companies to no longer follow these rules puts the entire internet in jeopardy. Getting rid of net neutrality does the reverse of what you intend. It inhibits competition, prevents investment (by increasing the barriers to entry), reduces choice and encourages already monopolistic practices. For myself, as a scientific researcher, open and rapid access to internet is a must. If I am unable to quickly and rapidly access the information I need, my research is hindered DRAMATICALLY. I perform research in areas of clinical diagnostics and reagent design. I need access to large amounts of data to perform my research properly. Getting rid of net neutrality would result in a HUGE hindrance to not just my research but the research of the ENTIRE scientific industry. Paid fast lanes, would result in me not able to download my data needed at the speed that I paid for. Delaying my research significantly. Even worse are data caps, which could result in me entirely unable to do research for months on end. I know my colleagues and I often deal in data sets on the order of multiple GB a day, if not larger. Competition on ISPs is virtually non-existent if you are anywhere besides a few limited metro areas. To properly function in the modern era, you NEED to have 20+Mbps of download speed and at least 5-10Mbps of upload speed, numbers which will just increase as everything becomes more online oriented and cloud-based. In the previous four places I have lived, I had the option of one TRUE broadband ISP, one <1Mbps ISP and dial-up internet. This is NOT competition, this is fake competition under the guise of real competition. Removing net neutrality only works if there is real competition with at least three high capability ISPs, to choose from. Right now, instead removing net neutrality only allows the ISPs to further exploit their monopoly position and damage the consumers, industry and research.
It could ruin innovation and online business
I am writing in support of the FCC’s continued role in regulating and maintaining the open internet by maintaining the principles of Net Neutrality. I started a software company in Silicon Valley that was able to succeed only because of Net Neutrality. If ISPs have their way and are permitted by the FCC to throttle internet speeds and bandwidth for some companies while providing “fast lanes” for companies with the ability to pay, this would ruin our critical startup business culture in the U.S. As internet consumers, my family and I use a wide range of web and mobile services, and our broadband access through our ISP is used solely to obtain unrestricted internet access - we do not obtain services like email, cloud storage, or other products from our ISP, but instead obtain these services from separate companies over the web. As is the case for most Americans, our options for wired home internet access are very limited, with only a single provider in our area delivering broadband at speeds of 25 Mbps down or greater. I strongly urge the FCC to maintain its regulatory role to ensure a strong, open internet with the principles of Net Neutrality left in place.
The internet should be a basic human right
Save net neutrality. I dont want my internet speeds slowed down by huge corporations that will consistently screw me out of money. The internet should remain free for everyone. At this point in time it should be considered a basic human right to have access to a free and unfiltered internet.
To sum things up
Stop the madness
The public comments section is open until July 18. You can add your voice to the millions on the FCC website. While it may seem like shouting into the void of public bureaucracy, every one of these official comments is entered into the public record, which means that they can be used in a potential court case down the line. The more personal, passionate and detailed your complaint is, the better.Photos via Getty Images / Andrew Burton, Flickr / Free Press Pics (1, 2), Getty Images / Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla