an open letter to internet users everywhere

A few minutes ago, I finished an email to my closest friends that I would like to share with my reader network:

Net Neutrality has been something that I’ve been following for some time now. I don’t often email out causes, and this is certainly one that is not asking for your money. Rather, it is asking you to protect the same service that I am contacting you through now.

I hate the price of our communications services in this country. When I was in Japan, the typical consumer there had access to internet and data thoroughput that was 10 times as fast for a sixth of the price. How is this possible? Government regulation keeps the big business from putting its profits before its performance. There are investments in infrastructure that benefits the consumer. Cell phone users stream live television on the train to their phones without paying more than $25 USD per month… what do we pay for iPhones in this country per month?

This current administration has promised to expand broadband to areas of the country that cannot access information that teachers need to teach and kids need to experience in order to make America competitive again in the global marketplace. With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the FCC is powerless to push internet providers to abide by the National Broadband Plan. We need to encourage that access without trusting in Comcast or other massive media conglomerates who have demonstrated to Americans that they will stand by as America falls to 15th in the world for broadband access and costs, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (

Yes, I have written every single word of this email. I have not used any template provided by any advocacy site to generate this message. Please, take the time to read the following message from and consider signing their easy, online petition. The FCC needs to get back in control of the internet providers that are charging us too much to do us disservice.

thank you for your attention,

Dear Adam,

The future of the Internet is in grave danger.

A federal appeals court ruled today that the FCC doesn’t have the authority to protect Internet users. The decision means the agency can’t stop Comcast from blocking Web traffic. It can’t carry out the National Broadband Plan. It won’t be able to safeguard Net Neutrality.

Let’s Win Back Control of the Internet:
The FCC Must Act on Our Behalf.

I’m a policy lawyer at Free Press. They don’t usually let me send you e-mails, but today is different. Let me explain how we got into this mess:

Two years ago, the FCC ruled that Comcast could not block online content, and Comcast challenged the ruling in court. Today, the court ruled in Comcast’s favor, effectively placing the Internet in the hands of big phone and cable companies.

This decision exploits a loophole in current law — the result of overzealous deregulation by the Bush administration — that threatens Net Neutrality and leaves the FCC unable to achieve the crucial goals of the National Broadband Plan.

Thankfully, this FCC can correct its predecessors’ mistakes, reassert its authority, and close the loophole. (Get ready, this is a tad complicated.)

The FCC needs to “reclassify” broadband under the Communications Act. In 2002, the FCC decided to place broadband providers outside the legal framework that traditionally applied to companies that offer two-way communications services, like phone companies.

That decision is what first put Net Neutrality in jeopardy, setting in motion the legal wrangling that now endangers the FCC’s ability to protect our Internet rights.

But the good news is that the FCC still has the power to set things right, and to make sure the free and open Internet stays that way. And once we’ve done that, the FCC can ensure that Comcast can’t interfere with our communications, no matter the platform.

That won’t happen unless thousands, even millions, of us take action now.

To be clear: This court decision hurts. But it’s created the opportunity for us to fix what was broken so many years ago.

It’s our Internet, not theirs. Let’s take it back.


Chris Riley
Policy Counsel

P.S. We need thousands of new supporters to contact the FCC. Forward this e-mail to your friends and family, and share our action on Twitter and Facebook.

Wherever you may be reading these words, you are accessing information to which a provider has brought you.  Those (few, uncompetitive) providers now have free reign to gouge you for connecting you with any piece of information they deem as a burden to them.  Imagine your provider charging you more for streaming video from Hulu or even facebook…  America needs to protect information access for her people, and keep the board rooms from getting richer on an Amermica who needs her knowledge, discovery and interaction to be limitless.

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