Letter to the editor: Protect internet neutrality

When you use the internet, you expect to connect with whatever legal website you want to view without having some sites appear instantly and others take minutes and minutes to appear. You also expect your internet provider to NOT delete content it doesn’t like! This is how the internet has always worked. You expect net neutrality.

The upcoming FCC vote on net neutrality looms large. Most people use the internet daily to do business, get the news, and connect with friends. The internet, like electricity or natural gas, should be viewed as a public utility. It is NOT appropriate for the internet provider to block or slow down legal web sites that they may not like for political, financial, or totally arbitrary reasons. This is especially true now in the days of vertically integrated internet providers—meaning some create the content of various internet sites as well as provide internet services to people. The new FCC rules would allow such massive corporations to block or slow down sites that are critical of them, or block or slow down store sites that sell things that do not pay the internet provider an extra “fee.”

Ensuring internet neutrality is important for our country and our democracy. Ending internet neutrality threatens innovative start-ups, independent news outlets, and small businesses that might not be able to afford the increased fees charged by the internet providers to provide “fast “ service. It will also increase the cost of good and services sold over it.

From April, 2017 when the FCC announced plans to end net neutrality until the end of this past summer, 22 million people contacted the FCC. The overwhelming majority were against ending it. Yet, the FCC has no obligation to listen to the people and make a democratic decision. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that there was “a massive scheme that fraudulently used real Americans’ identities” in order to “drown out the views of real people and businesses.” The FCC has made no effort to investigate the fraudulent emails and find out what the people want. Instead the chairman gives this fact as a reason to ignore public input and do what he wants.

Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC appointed by President Trump, was formally a lawyer for Verizon, one of the multinational corporations that has long lobbied for ending internet neutrality. To many, it seems that Pai is still working for Verizon and does not care about what the people want but only about what Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast want.

This is a good example of how services that we as a people interact with daily are ruled by overlords that do not care about people, fairness, or democracy. AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast are extremely rich.

We the people need internet neutrality greater than they need more money.

Now is the time to email or call the FCC. They can be reached at 1-800-225-5322. Also, Congress could protect internet neutrality, something Democrats and Republicans can both back. Those that don’t back it likely have been paid by the big internet providers who have long lobbied against net neutrality.

So now is the time to call Representative Tipton at his Alamosa office: 719-587-5105 and Senator Cory Gardner at his Pueblo office: 719-543-1324. Ask them to support internet neutrality and not cave to corporate cash.

Elizabeth Kinney



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