How YOU Can Defend Net Neutrality & A Fair Internet

By Published May 15, 2014 at 4:52 am

On May 15th, the current net neutrality rules are going up for preliminary vote at the FCC. This initial vote is only a step in the overall process for the unfair segregation of web traffic to come to life. Our first article broke down the basics of what is in flux, so if you're unsure of what's going on, that's the place to check first. Our second article was a short opinion piece (read: doused in sarcasm and lit aflame with satire) on Chairman Tom Wheeler's response to "reassure" us.

"What is Net Neutrality?" infographic.

We felt that we should give readers a decisive guide to voicing views and making a difference. Reddit has good recommendations from people who are, and were, involved in the government. Their insight is invaluable to those wanting to do something helpful. Some of the basics are calling the FCC, contacting your Congress and Senate Representatives (they work for you, so use them), and a few other ways to get your voice heard. When reaching out to representatives, one of the most important things to remember is to be polite, professional, and friendly so that you are taken seriously; the people answering the phones are likely interns of some variety -- they'll mark your comment down, ask your name and zip, and then hang up. No need for aggression. Short of money, the means through which most lobbyists get their way is because there is not a big enough outcry from the public to counter them, or those who do complain aren't taken seriously because of how they object.

The Phone Call

You should tell every representative or intern you speak with to “have the FCC classify internet service providers as Title Two common carriers." When our Editor-in-Chief called representatives, he found that prefixing the statement with "I'd like for you to make note of a comment on the FCC, please" worked well. This article helps explain why the Title Two comment should be made. The gist is that the reclassification would give the FCC more authority to enforce the rules to protect the internet from the ISPs. Obviously, the ISPs are dead-set against this happening, as then they will have rules they have to obey. Go figure. The main reason that the FCC has lost every battle to-date with ISPs is that they were classified away from Title Two carriers in 2002. If this were undone, the FCC should be able to enforce rules up to and including permanently removing the right for an ISP to do business if it does not obey the net neutrality guidelines set in place. Until this happens, ISPs are free to extort companies like Netflix for gains that could significantly hinder start-ups.

Here are a few other sources to look into if you would like to join others who want to promote net neutrality:

- Scott "Abibiliboop" Griffin.

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