Internet Neutrality and My Email to Tom Wheeler
A recent article written by Sonia Simone from Copyblogger inspired me to draft my own message to FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler (email).
For those who don’t know, the FCC will be voting on new regulations to permit internet service providers to charge for premium internet traffic. Essentially, websites and businesses with enough money to purchase this service will hog up the internet and enjoy fast loading speed while the rest of us will have “scraps” and see our page loads increase to minutes. For more info on net neutrality, refer to the Copyblogger article as it is a must-read on the subject.
My Email to Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Below is my email to Mr. Wheeler, word for word.
Dear Mr. Wheeler,
This message is my attempt to play a small part in helping to protect the internet as we know it today. Thanks to the internet as we’ve come to know it, many people, myself included, have been able to make a living and start new, innovative businesses that provide jobs and growth to an American economy that is in desperate need of such action. In recent years, we’ve seen the enormous growth of websites such as Twitter and LinkedIn, just to name a couple, that would not be where they are today if not for the freedom of the internet. There are countless of other online businesses, much smaller than the websites mentioned above, that rely on being able to promote their products and services via the internet. The reason for this is because the internet is the best way for people to build brands through investing time and hard work instead of purely through big marketing budgets. Unlike the large businesses that would be able to afford premium internet traffic, small businesses and freelancers like myself do not have the budgets to afford this. Therefore, an end to net neutrality would be effectively telling all of us that our time and effort is meaningless. Our JOBS would be eliminated. Then what would we do, Mr. Wheeler? As a freelance website developer, all of my clients are small businesses and startups. Without neutrality, they will have no reason for a website. This hurts both of us and anyone alike. I would then struggle to desperately find a “normal job”, of which there is a short supply, to continue supporting my family. Is the gain for the few beneficiaries of a biased internet so great that it outweighs the loss to millions of others?
Furthermore, I personally appreciate being able to find unique content on the internet that I cannot find elsewhere. If our internet highways are prioritized for those with the budgets to afford this priority, the quality and usefulness of the internet will greatly diminish. 99% of my internet browsing is spent on websites that would be damaged by an end to net neutrality. I do not want to sacrifice my internet experience to benefit big businesses. In America, where we pride ourselves on the success of small business, ending net neutrality would be a gross revocation of the tools for success for many small businesses and it would, instead, directly benefit large business. I’m not advocating against big business in any way but I am firmly against any actions that so blatantly harm small businesses and freelancers and shifts the advantage of the internet entirely to those who can afford to control it.
I politely and respectfully urge you to ensure that the internet remains an even playing field for all. Allow me and millions of other website and online business owners to continue earning our livings doing what we know how to do. Do not strip our jobs away from us because we do not have the budgets to afford premium traffic. Do not degrade what is the most open and enjoyable source of information just to allow internet service providers to increase their bottom lines at the sake of millions of small online entrepreneurs. Please, preserve the internet as we know it and uphold its most important aspect, neutrality.
For more information on how greatly a decision to end net neutrality would effect people such as myself, please see this article: