Keep Strong Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission’s Net Neutrality rules are extremely important to me. As a computer consultant, they are vital to my business as much as my personal life.

I don’t want ISPs [internet service providers] to have the power to block websites, slow them down, give some sites an advantage over others, or split the internet into fast lanes for companies that can pay the extra fees and slow lanes for the rest of us.

Giant ISPs shouldn’t have the power to control what we see and do online. This would destroy the internet as we know it — and harm everyone who relies on it to pursue job opportunities, advance their education, access news and information, and participate fully in our democracy.

The Net Neutrality rules are based on Title II of the Communications Act — which is the only way to protect real Net Neutrality. But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is determined to end Title II classification. The courts have made it clear that if the FCC does this, ISPs will be free to carve the internet into fast and slow lanes.

While a handful of powerful companies would be able to pay steep fees to ISPs to ensure their content loads faster, startups and small businesses wouldn’t be able to compete. This would kill the open marketplace that has enabled millions of small businesses to thrive — just to further enrich a few cable giants known for their for sky-high prices and abysmal customer service.

Moreover, under Chairman Pai's plan, ISPs would have the power to censor political speech they disagree with. This would silence nonprofits, artists and everyone else who couldn’t pay to have their voices heard. Ending Title II would destroy the internet’s level playing field and the free expression it enables.

Americans have already paid $400 billion for fiber that has not yet been installed. Yet they want to charge us more for less! This is just not right.

This is why I am speaking out in support of the FCC’s existing Title II-based Net Neutrality rules and denounce Chairman Pai's plans.

Ricardo Frustockl owns and runs Santa Barbara Computer Repair PC Tech.

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