Net Neutrality: Tell the FCC Your Story

The folks are back on the offensive, harrying attempts to create the much-sought-after two-tiered Internet proposed by Big Telecom. Now, they’re asking us to submit our own stories to be sent to the FCC for consideration.

Well, anything I can do to stop this effort, I will do. And so, I do-ed it.

Below is my “story,” and you can send your own to the FCC by going to their site here:

All too often, the biggest change in political life in this country goes unnoticed. That change has been from getting our news and entertainment from paper publications to getting it from television news. Even large paper publications have letters to the editor, but paper publications are cheap enough that independent media always had a voice.

But when television media became the mode of choice, the ability for the citizenry to respond to what they saw in the media ceased to be. Television only talks at you, and you only watch and listen. There is no second side of the conversation.

This has led to a decline in civic involvement, generally, because people begin to see political arguments as people carping on television instead of neighbors talking about important business. Also, because we cannot tell broadcasters what we want, they decide for us, and then their decisions become self-fulfilling prophecy because people are getting force-fed it. That is not democratic, that is not American. It is wrong.

The Internet moves the conversation back into the hands of the people. Now anyone can own a blog and say what they think about whatever they’d like to talk about. Unsurprisingly, very little of it is about Paris Hilton and much more of it is about Barack Obama. People are involved again, and it’s upsetting the apple-cart for those who believed they controlled the message.

Moreover, there is the Telecommunications industry which would like the opportunity to advertise “at us” the way television has for years, . . through the Internet. No more responding to our demands, no more individuals with the power to create something more interesting, no more open competition, no more reacting to the will of the people; if they get their way, only the wealthy and powerful will be able to afford high-speed connections to broadcast the same one-sided television-style programming that has ruined our culture for lo this past several decades.

But you have a chance to see to it this does not happen. You have a chance to let the Telecom industry know that there is such a thing as “the public good,” and it transcends their desire to make money. Please support Net Neutrality and a free and democratic Internet.

Go ahead, let ’em know what you think!

Save the Net Now

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.

2 replies on “Net Neutrality: Tell the FCC Your Story”

What we really need to do is “Save the Internet From the Government”

“Furthermore, if rules were imposed on ISPs, it would result in compliance costs as the companies attempt to follow the government’s established procedures for ensuring “network freedom.” This creates barriers to entry that would prevent new companies from entering the industry to provide alternative versions of Internet service to consumers. In such a case, incumbent companies could very well get away with fixing prices against the wishes of consumers. We can then expect to see the government step in to “solve” this problem that it created in the first place.”

I worry that the government doesn’t have the swiftness to swoop in and fix blocked content. However, the collective voice of bloggers could cause enough commotion to fix things in less than 24 hours.

Hands Off Please
With Hands Off the Internet Coalition

“new companies” as in what? The large telecom companies that control the vast majority of the pipelines are already natural monopolies because they’re the only ones that own the pipes, in the same way that phone companies and utilities are. You’re attempts at scare tactics are not very effective, and you’ll need to go back to your website to reread your bullet points. We’re not talking about mom-and-pop’s ISP. We’re talking about the guys who own the pipes, and they have a monopoly that they are already talking about exploiting to the detriment of the population and free speech on the Internet.

“Compliance costs” are the most absurd excuse I’ve heard to date. What additional costs would be accrued by *not* splitting the Internet into two channels?

Your last paragraph makes no sense whatsoever. What blocked content are you talking about? Your article that you linked to is tripe, pure and simple, written by a man who doubtless (or at least, I hope) knows nothing about the Internet. If he does, he’s being hugely disingenuous.

Sorry, but I disagree.

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