October 29, 2017

Save Our Net!

Congress and the FCC are talking about ending Net Neutrality

by Chris Thomas

Image Credit: Joseph Gruber

In early November the House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on Net Neutrality and, sometime thereafter, the FCC will vote on ending the policy outright. The FCC has been accepting comments on the subject for some time but the time to contact Congress, and especially the House Judiciary committee, is now.

Why does this matter?

The Internet has always been neutral. In network terms, neutral means that your internet provider (ISP) treats data from Netflix the same way it treats data from its own streaming video service. Net neutrality is the idea that this is the way it should be — that your ISP shouldn’t be able to slow down traffic to Netflix and speed up traffic to its own video store to help that store compete with Netflix.

Opponents of Net Neutrality will point out that the internet has gotten along fine without regulation thus-far and that there is no need for government intervention, but technology has changed. “Deep packet inspection” allows your ISP to make even very similar services like Spotify and Pandora behave differently depending on which has paid them for preferential treatment. In fact, Portugal, which doesn’t have any net neutrality laws, is already seeing what a non-neutral internet looks like.

Tell Congress what you think!

Net Neutrality is the critical 1st Amendment issue of the 21st century. Text RESIST to 50409 to tell your representatives or Senators what you think about this or any other issue before Congress or text PRESIDENT to the same number to contact the White House. If you’d rather use Facebook Messenger, click here and say RESIST to contact your government.

Who should I write to?

The House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law will hold a hearing on Net Neutrality on November 1st, so if your congressman is on the following list your voice is especially important.

House Judiciary Committee Republicans

  • Chairman: Rep. Tom Marino (PA-10)
  • Vice Chairman: Rep. Blake Farenthold (TX-27)
  • Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49)
  • Rep. Doug Collins (GA-09)
  • Rep. Ken Buck (CO-04)
  • Rep. John Ratcliffe (TX-04)
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-01)
  • Rep. Karen Handel (GA-06)

House Judiciary Committee Democrats

  • Ranking Member: Rep. David Cicilline (RI-01)
  • Rep. Hank Johnson, Jr. (GA-04)
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07)
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15)
  • Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10)

Otherwise, while letters to your Congressman and Senators are important, the FCC reports to the President.

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