Here’s what you can do! The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is poised to restore protections for the Internet to keep it open for grassroots innovation and democratic communications. These protections are known as “net neutrality.”
With a pass from corporate media, the cable and telephone companies have quietly consolidated their control over the Internet in recent years. How this happened is outlined in my column, “The Battle for Broadband.” Additional background is available in my July 1 presentation, “Who Will Control the Internet in the 21st-Century?” The video of this presentation will be available soon.
You can help win this battle! The FCC has set a July 15 deadline for public comment on a modest proposal to restore its authority over broadband. A legal challenge by Comcast has cast doubt on this authority. (Imagine BP or Goldman Sachs suing to emasculate their federal watchdog agencies!)
The FCC must assemble a compelling public-comment record showing widespread support for open Internet rules and protections.
Without this support, it’s possible that the FCC – under ferocious attack by cable-telco lobbyists and “astro-turf” groups – could get cold feet and back away from this goal as the November elections approach.
To facilitate your public comment, following are five suggested talking points:
1. We need an FCC with strong enforcement authority to ensure broadband rules and protections for a fair and open Internet.
2. As we have seen on Wall Street and in the Gulf of Mexico, free markets do NOT work without fair, clear and enforceable rules.
3. We need a strong FCC to ensure the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP), which Congress ordered the FCC to publish earlier this year.
4. The NBP includes strategies for solving the broadband crisis in rural and other underserved communities. With little or no authority over broadband, the FCC will be powerless to implement these strategies.
5. One of these strategies is support for community broadband networks. Tell the FCC that rural and underserved communities prefer self-reliance over dependency on absentee-owned networks, whose Wall Street business models do not work in these communities.
With your help, this is one battle against the big corporations we can win!
You can file your public comment at one of these three FCC sites:
All public-comment filings should refer to GN Docket No. 10-127.
If you are a business owner or nonprofit leader, please join the hundreds of other small businesses and nonprofits who have signed onto this letter to the FCC.
Remember: The deadline for public comment is Thursday, July 15 at midnight!