Hello Everyone. Tonight, a little something that is not a short story. Tonight, I wanted to post something that is a little more important. Our government has a Commission whose sole function is to regulate the communications industry. That department of the Executive Branch is called the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission, and is headed by a man named Tom Wheeler. Mr. Wheeler, before his current role, was a venture capitalist and lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry, with prior positions including President of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA). So, the very person responsible for regulating our much loved cable companies (see Time Warner Cable Comcast, Charter, and Cox at #2, #3, #7, and #11) as well as wireless phone providers (T-Mobile at #14) and ISP’s (the above as well as AT&T (#11), and CenturyLink, at #7) is also the one that fought for them in previous administrations.
Credentials aside, so far, it doesn’t really seem like he is fighting for the little guy. Recently, he has been making a push to allow ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) the ability to charge companies more for a “fast lane,” on their networks. For example, Netflix wants to ensure that you get a good picture at your home, they better pony up the cash. And you might not have been paying attention in Econ. 101 if you think Netflix won’t send the cost right on down to you.
The internet is a free and open forum. It is a place where ideas and information can be shared. Where we can learn, and educate, and share experiences to a global audience. It is the information superhighway and a web of worldwide influence. But it is so much more. Knowledge is power, and power is held by the People.
There is something we can do to take this power back. The FCC has taken the highly unusual steps of opening up the discussion early on this subject. You have a range of options, from mailing in a letter via snail-mail, to filling out their form, to sending them an email at email@example.com.
I would recommend looking at a couple of websites prior to sending the email, which explains what the debate is about (including Wheeler’s remark that he would rather “give in to Verizon’s definition of Open Internet than fight”) much better than I could, as well as the process of the public discussion. They are:
So, in the spirit of the fight, I thought I would share the letter I sent to the FCC with all of you. I hope that I have helped some of you to understand this fight a little better, and perhaps to act on that knowledge. I love the internet; it allows me to do the things I love. It gives me a stage to write from, a place to watch great content…and some really amazing cat videos. It is Tweets and Likes and FaceTime and Wikipedia and Wookiepedia and podcasts and everything else. Please, let’s protect it.
Re: Open Internet
To Whom it may concern;