Net neutrality is the guiding principle that has made the Internet a level playing field for all voices. It means that your internet provider must treat all data — the websites you visit, the TV shows you watch, and the work assignment you submit — the same online. And it ensures that companies like AT&T and Comcast can’t charge you more to access certain sites, or vary the speed of your access based on how much you are willing to pay.
For the first time in history we can communicate with a global audience — for entertainment, economic mobility, or political organizing — without prohibitive costs, or mediation by government or industry. Net neutrality is what allowed us to call attention to injustice in Ferguson, lead a national conversation on racism and police accountability. And it is what allows us to speak out against Trump’s FCC and help build an unignorable opposition.
The way our voices can travel online has become such a fact of life that it can be easy to take for granted — but in reality, it’s crucial to today’s fights for civil rights and equality. Trump’s head of the Federal Communications Commission, Commissioner Ajit Pai, has rolled out his plan to kill the open internet. Unless enough of us speak out now, we could lose one of the most powerful platforms we’ve ever had to fight for justice and equality.
For the next few weeks, the FCC has asked to hear from the public. The comments they receive will help to determine whether or not they do away with net neutrality. Now more than ever, we must lift up our voices to be heard.
Tips for writing a comment to the FCC:
Write about yourself and how using the open internet has impacted you.
Write about what you believe you are buying when you pay for broadband internet access.
Write about the choices you have (or don’t) for broadband Internet access.
Write about what role you think the FCC should have in overseeing the world of broadband Internet access.
NOTE: For more in-depth tips, check out this article by Gigi Sohn.