Friday, April 23, 2010

IF YOU VALUE THE NET AS YOU KNOW IT, ACT TODAY

I received the following from Credo. I have included it verbatim, as I believe it succinctly outlines the importance of the net neutrality issue. Then, please take a second to sign at the link below. As I posted last week, the the chance to preserve net neutrality IS NOT DEAD - but it's critical to our uniform access to the sites we choose that we TAKE ACTION NOW. Thanks!

The Federal Communications Commission has been attempting to enforce net neutrality safeguards that would keep big telecoms from inspecting and filtering the Internet content you access, blocking websites and applications they don't like, and overcharging you for using the Internet. But a recent court decision prevents the FCC from regulating net neutrality in the way it tried.

The FCC now faces an important decision. Will it stand up for consumers and reclassify broadband Internet providers to ensure the Internet stays free?

The FCC has asked for public comment on its net neutrality plans. Join thousands of other Americans in submitting a comment in support of the FCC doing everything it can to protect a free and open Internet.

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet users, not Internet service providers, should be in control. It ensures that Internet service providers can't speed up, slow down, or block Web content based on its source, ownership, or destination.

Without strong net neutrality rules, we might have to rely upon the good will of large telecoms to protect our access to the diversity of political perspectives. We might have to trust companies like Comcast, which actively and secretly interfered with users' ability to access popular video, photo and music sharing applications; AT&T, which censored anti-Bush comments made by Pearl Jam's lead singer during a concert; and Verizon Wireless, which interfered with NARAL Pro-Choice America's ability to send text messages to its members.

In 2002, the FCC, working in alliance with the Bush administration and its corporate backers, went on a deregulation binge. The FCC decided to classify and treat broadband Internet service providers outside of the pro-consumer legal framework that traditionally applied to companies that offer two-way communications services.

This Bush-era decision has recently come back to haunt FCC under President Obama. Earlier this month, a federal court ruled that as long as that Bush-era reclassification stands, the FCC lacks the authority to impose on broadband providers certain important regulations, including net neutrality.

There is, however, still a way for the FCC to ensure that broadband customers enjoy the protection of net neutrality rules. All the FCC needs to do is reverse the decision to treat broadband companies differently than telecommunications carriers. By reversing the decision and reclassifying broadband, the FCC would increase its authority to regulate the industry and enforce net neutrality rules.

We know that the FCC wants to make net neutrality the law of the land, but we also know that reclassification is something that will face immense opposition from the broadband industry and its army of well-connected lobbyists. Let's show the FCC that there is strong public support for net neutrality to make sure the decision-makers know we'll back them up if they take on this fight.

Before the April 26 deadline, submit your comment telling the FCC you support reclassifying broadband Internet providers in order to impose net neutrality.

Some general points you may want to mention:

*Net neutrality is at the heart of the Internet. It's why the Internet has been such a powerful engine for free speech, democratic participation and economic innovation.

*Companies want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won't load at all. Such online discrimination should not be tolerated.


Please submit your comment to the FCC -- by 10 a.m. Pacific time on April 26 to get it into the docket by the deadline.
SIGN HERE!

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