This Thursday, January 14th, is the closing of the FCC’s comment period on Net Neutrality. Their decision will have long term and far reaching effects on both the cost of and the way information is distributed over the Internet. Pressure from large telecommunications providers for the ability to limit or degrade connectivity of rivals inside their respective networks, which some have likened to censorship, to gain competitive edge for their own product offerings has been immense and well funded. Such a scenario does little, if anything, for the consumer and ultimately stifles the innovation allowed under the current ‘open’ paradigm. Here is an illustration of one possible scenario:
If you enjoy the Internet as it exists today, accessible and indiscriminate, I would encourage you to submit your thoughts to the FCC concerning this vital issue if you have not done so already. You may do so electronically through the Free Press website: http://www.savetheinternet.com/fcc-comments
Former FCC and ICTC Commissioner Nicholas Johnson has already done so himself, you may read his comments on his website: http://fromdc2iowa.blogspot.com/2010/01/48-hours-to-save-internet.html My own comments are included at the bottom of this post.
Thank you for your attention and your contribution to this extremely important issue. Please feel free to distribute this call for comments as widely as possible.
Honorable Members of the Federal Communications Commission,
I write you today to express my personal support for a strong policy of Network Neutrality. The preservation of the principle of open connectivity is the driving force behind the innovation and entrepreneurship that has made the Internet the interesting, informative and expansive tool that it is today. We must have specific and strong prohibitions against the ‘walled garden’ or degraded service approach that could be instituted by those who would wish to undermine rivals or stifle competing viewpoints and technologies in favor of profits and control, for the segmentation of our national communication would serve to do nothing but create an information oligarchy. The free exchange of information and ideas is essential to our democracy and must be maintained.
Please think of the consumers, the citizens and businesses, not just the moneyed interests of the telecommunications industry, when creating what will become essentially the rules of digital speech. It is the current open access that has brought us the success of the present, and it will be the same open access that will allow us to explore and innovate towards the successes of the future.
Chair, Iowa City Telecommunications Commission
Owner, 460 Website Design