An Open Letter to the FCC About Net Neutrality

United States Capitol, Washington, D.C., United States; Vertical View

Photo by TheAgency (CJStumpf) under CC BY-SA 3.0

This is the email I sent to the FCC commissioners at the end of April. I’ll rework it a bit to send to my senators and representatives. Feel free to use it as a basis for your own communications, and see this letter as well.

Dear FCC Commissioners:

As a paying consumer of Internet service, I am deeply concerned about the most recent announcements that would permit Internet Service Providers to charge a premium to content providers for improved handling of their data. I already pay a fee that is based on the hypothetical “maximum speed” of the data handling from my ISP to me. Even before this announcement, I routinely experience much lower speeds that I’m paying for. I expect this to get worse if the announced plan goes into effect.

It seems analogous to a protection racket. I’m already paying for Internet service, the content providers are already paying for Internet service, and now there’s a looming threat of “well, we won’t deliver the product you’re paying for at the contracted price; you have to pay extra or we’ll sideline your data”. The ability of Comcast to immediately boost Netflix traffic upon payment of this “protection money” indicates to me the kind of shenanigans that we can all expect from broader acceptance of this practice.

And it’s not just bad for the Internet service consumer. It’s bad for the economy overall: content consumers and providers are also part of that economic engine, and these practices will have the consequence (intended or unintended) or restricting market entry and innovation among content providers.

Please reaffirm your commitment to Net neutrality.

Sincerely,

J. Hunter Johnson

—jhunterj

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