The big telecom giants like Comcast and AT&T who are pushing this scheme want free rein to block or slow websites, censor speech, and force websites into an internet slow lane for failing to pay new “traffic prioritization” fees. This will mean the next Netflix, Etsy, Twitter, or Youtube may not ever get off the ground — because no startup could afford to pay the steep fees necessary to avoid being put in an Internet Slow Lane.
This isn’t just a technology issue it’s also one of the most important civil rights challenges of our time. Nobody wants powerful telecom companies to control what they read, say, see and do online. Nobody wants an internet where only wealthy and privileged interests have a voice, at the expense of everybody else. The internet belongs to all of us.
What’s at stake is whether we’ll have an internet that is shaped by users and innovators or one that is dominated by a handful of telecom giants who want to make the internet slower, more expensive, and more like cable TV.
It’s time for policymakers in Congress to take a firm stand for our access to a fast, free, and open internet. Unfortunately, we in Moab no longer have a congressperson whom we can urge to speak to this issue. We need a congressperson who will come out in support of strong net neutrality protections — specifically the Open Internet Order and Title II.