FCC Decision to Back “Internet Fast Lane” is Wrong

April 24, 2014

News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FCC Decision to Back “Internet Fast Lane” is Wrong,
And is Harmful to Nonprofit Organizations & Small Businesses

Yesterday, the New York Times published an article about the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) newest proposal on regulating internet traffic. In an apparent shift in focus, after its previously proposed rules were overturned twice in court recently, the FCC is now proposing to allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Comcast to charge websites a “commercially reasonable” fee in order to prioritize the speed in which that website’s content is delivered to end-users.

This most recent proposal is not only harmful to smaller nonprofit organizations and small businesses who cannot afford this expense, but it is also harmful to internet users everywhere.

In a press release, Free Press President & CEO Craig Aaron stated that the “the FCC is aiding and abetting the largest ISPs in their efforts to destroy the open Internet. . . . This is not Net Neutrality. It’s an insult to those who care about preserving the open Internet to pretend otherwise.”

As explained in the New York Times article, Net Neutrality is the concept that internet users should be able to access any website content that they choose (within legal boundaries) and that content providers (also known as Internet Service Providers) should not discriminate against providing their subscribers this content.

By charging websites a fee to prioritize its traffic, ISPs would effectively be discriminating against nonprofit organizations and businesses that cannot afford the “commercially reasonable fee.” A quick search on Google will provide enough articles and supporting evidence that even a small prioritization of websites (thereby effectively slowing down other websites) will hurt the organizations that cannot pay the additional fees. Large amounts of website visitors will leave if that website loads slowly.

The vast majority of website owners (including nonprofit organizations and small businesses) do not have the resources to compete with the likes of Time Warner, Google, and Facebook in order to prioritize their own content. The FCC’s newest proposal will hurt competition and will also cause smaller websites to lose valuable traffic.

We urge our website visitors, clients and friends to call on your senators and congress representatives in opposition of the FCC’s newest policy proposal. In Google’s words, “A free and open world depends on a free and open web.”

For more information, read NPR’s article, Reports: FCC Poised For Changes To Net Neutrality Policy.

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