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Call Loretta Sanchez now at (202) 225-2965 or (714) 621-0102, and ask her NOT to support Bob Latta’s bill H.R. 4752 which will destroy Net Neutrality and force most of us into an “internet slow lane” if we don’t pay.
The Internet, as we know it, may change considerably based on a US Court of Appeals’ decision, and on a related bill presented in the House of Representatives. This would change what is called the “Net Neutrality”. Internet Service Providers (ISP), such as Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and Verizon, cannot interfere with the information being sent through their networks; or give priority to certain consumer’s by charging extra fees.
The proposed legislation will allow ISPs to provide preferential delivery speeds and quality, by charging additional fees, creating a fast and a slow lane in the Internet. We may have to pay more, even to watch some TV cables shows, which would be the least of our worries. The threat to the Open Internet, which provides the guarantee of free speech online for all, has far reaching implications. Net neutrality is essential to modern democracy.
The background and arguments to maintain net neutrality are extensive. This is a summary: Verizon challenged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) current net neutrality regulations in the DC’s Circuit Court of Appeals. It argued that the net neutrality rules pertain to Common Carrier principles, and ISPs are not covered under these rules.
“Common carriers,” are companies or organizations that provide a communication service to the general public. Their services are called “telecommunications services.” The court ruled that the FCC lacks authority because of “the Commission’s still-binding decision to classify broadband providers not as providers of ‘telecommunications services’ but instead as providers of ‘information services.’”
The interpretation is that the FCC needs to reverse its prior decisions, and reclassify Internet access services as “telecommunications services” under the law and treat ISPs as the common carriers— a connection to the outside world that is merely faster than the phone lines we used to use for dial-up access, phone calls and faxes — then it can “reclassify” the transmission component of an ISP’s service back under the law as a “telecommunications service.”
Doing so would give the FCC authority to adopt Net Neutrality rules and/or intervene if ISPs harm the open Internet through discriminatory practices. Opponents of net neutrality argue that the improvement of infrastructure is costly and without proper compensation, results in major content providers not paying their fair share. They also argue that a two tiers system is a natural step in the free market system and if anything, government regulation will only result in a greater market failure.
This issue is hilariously explained by the great Jon Oliver in his news-comedy show “Last Week Tonight”…
A few Democrats are playing important roles in this issue. One of them is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler, a former industry lobbyist appointed by President Obama. He is proposing net neutrality rules that would create an Internet fast lane. Wheeler’s proposalhas been met with determined opposition.
One of the most outspoken opponents is US Senator Al Franken (D). He says:
Under such a structure, “the Internet can be transformed from a free, open, and competitive playing field into a ‘pay-for-play’ arena in which citizen bloggers, nonprofits, and small businesses are simply outgunned by major media conglomerates.”
I believe [Obama] pledged to appoint FCC commission that would honor net neutrality and keep net neutrality as law. The latest proposed rules by Wheeler—what he’s really talking about is creating a fast lane where people can pay to have their content treated unequally. That’s not net neutrality. That’s pay for play. That’s antithetical to net neutrality.
A local Dem player is our congresswoman, Loretta Sanchez. A call for action from an advocacy group reads:
A Republican member of Congress just introduced a bill to strip the FCC of its power to reclassify broadband. 20 turncoat Democrats already sold us out once by pressuring the FCC to kill Net Neutrality. We need to make sure they don’t double down and sell us out again by supporting this bill.
Note: Some staffers are reportedly telling callers that members are pro-Net Neutrality but anti-reclassification. Don’t fall for the spin. There is only one way to protect Net Neutrality, and that’s reclassification. Here’s a great blog post on the topic.
Please call House of Representative Loretta Sanchez:
Hi, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I’m a constituent who lives in [YOUR CITY]. (or call her even if you’re not her constituent – VERN)
I am calling because I’m a strong supporter of Net Neutrality and think the FCC needs to reclassify broadband.
But Rep. Sanchez shamefully sold constituents like me out to AT&T, Comcast and Verizon by signing her name to an industry-backed letter telling the FCC to kill Net Neutrality.
Rep. Sanchez shouldn’t double down on this sellout by supporting Rep. Bob Latta’s bill (H.R. 4752), which would strip the FCC’s authority to reclassify broadband. If she does, I will hold her accountable.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (202) 225-2965 or (714) 621-0102.