Today, July 18, 2014, is the deadline to submit first round comments on the Federal Communication Commission’s proceeding 14-28 on the open Internet, commonly referred to as the principle of net neutrality. Net neutrality is, according to Google:
the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.
July 17, 2014
Dear FCC Commissioners:
I am writing to submit a comment regarding proceeding 14-28, “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet.” Over the past 25 years the World Wide Web has had profound impacts on social relationships, learning, and entertainment, as well as political and civic life. Online platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have become the public squares of the 21st century. According to statistics from the Pew Research Center, 87% of of adults in the United States use the Internet, while 53% of Internet users say giving up the Internet would be hard to do. Those numbers are posed to increase, as is the proportion of Internet users going online from mobile devices.
Given trends such as these, it is incumbent upon the FCC to treat broadband access as a public utility, like access to the airwaves in the 20th century, and ensure such access continues to be regulated in the public interest. I urge you to keep the 2010 transparency rule in effect and ban paid prioritization, so-called “fast lanes.” In principle all content providers (i.e. websites and applications) should have equal access to consumers. Anything else would have negative impacts for technological innovation and the growth of today’s startups and those of the future that will serve needs we can not yet predict.