RTOD is Going to Bat for Net Neutrality Again

Quick Edit: Sorry for the poor formatting on its first itteration.  I fixed it, and now it’s legible again.

I just wrote up this letter to the FCC with the help of Freepress.net. 

Dear FCC Chairman,

The public and the president have expressed overwhelming support for Net Neutrality. The FCC must now act to keep the Internet open and free of corporate gatekeepers.

Please stand with the public and keep the Internet in the hands of the people who use it every day.

I’m going to speak as plainly as I can. The internet carriers, and I do stress carriers, and not providers, since they provide little to no actual content, should not be able to direct my traffic in any which direction they choose. They already charge site owners based on the amount of traffic that they expect to receive. There is no reason that any company or site owner should have an advantage by simply paying additional routing fees to their site.

As this is a letter to the FCC, I would like to use the following example, which compares it to a medium already well-regulated by your division: the telephone carrier setup. I, as the end user and customer, decide that I need to contact a plumbing service. After thumbing through the phone book, I decide to try Little Al’s Local Plumbing Service, because they are local, professional, and recommended by my family. I dial their number, wait for the pick-up, only hear a pick-up and then a staticky click. I dial again, and it takes an unnecessarily long time to even begin to dial, and the ringing tones are farther apart, making the telephone actually ring less often. I am forced to hang up, dial again, and this time I get through, but the connection is horrible. Static throughout the line, crosstalk, interference that is so bad that I can barely understand the person on the other end of the line. I contact CTWVA Unmentioned Telephone and Internet Carrier to explain my problem, and I am informed that the lines were fine on both ends, but, here, A-1 Big National Chain Plumbing Service is their suggested plumbing service. Then, they automatically connect me, without asking, and the connection will only take you to an automated “local site finder,” where I have to input my telephone number, area code first. Then, after dealing with said local site finder, you are placed on hold for a considerable amount of time for a “customer service representative” of unknown origin to deign it worthy to answer the line. All of this, and I still don’t have a setup to fix my plumbing issue.

It occurred this way simply because of a lack of “telephone neutrality.” A-1 Big National Chain Plumbing Service paid additional fees to ensure that their plumbing service got better quality connection, a better connecting speed, and were specifically selected by the telephone carrier to sell their service. Little Al’s Local Plumbing Service, however, did not have the money, or were not willing to put out the money, to guarantee that their service was selected by the carrier to be my service. Poor connection. Poor Quality. Inability to actually attempt business. And all because they couldn’t shell out the extra money to make it happen, or decided it wasn’t needed, since their local customers who know them know their quality and advertise for them.

The reality of the situation is simple. There has always been “Telephone Neutrality.” It makes sense as a business and a medium to not force the customers in any direction by the carriers because they get their connections regardless. And, ultimately, the bigger company is paying more for the connection than the local small company because they have more connections actually being used. Even with this ability to contact whomever I choose, and the ability to give my business to whomever I choose, the telephone carriers, small businesses, and large businesses alike have been able to not only maintain, but to thrive.

After this, I have to ask. What difference would it be if Internet Neutrality was regulated and enforced?

Second example, following the same guidelines, using the telephone system.

I am using CTWVA Unnamed Internet and Telephone Carrier, have paid my monthly bills, and am current on my statement on a plan that offers me unlimited local calling. I have a need to contact Local Burger Stand because I am looking for a job. So, I pick up my phone, dial the number, and a tone comes in with an automated message telling me that I will be charged an extra per-minute fee for this call. Being that I’m already looking for a job, I hang up and call International Burger Franchise, and, lo and behold, there is no sudden per-minute fee. Why is this? For the same reason as the first example. The real difference? Instead of charging the Local Burger Stand the extra fees and to drive their business where Unnamed Telephone Carrier wants, they charge the customer said fee. However, International Burger Franchise HAS paid the extra money, so, no additional per-minute fee, even though both phone calls were considered local calls. Obviously, we don’t distinguish between the calls as such now, why would we start doing so?

Telephone Neutrality worked wonders for the nation. We continued to grow, expand, become more free. Internet Neutrality will have the same effect.

I urge you, as do the vast majority of the public who understand what it is, to regulate and monitor the continuation of Internet Neutrality. The public should not be forced, by any company, to use any specific business, nor should anyone be limited by the internet *CARRIER,* which I cannot stress enough, as to where they can go on their paid-for internet connection.

Now, let’s all be honest here, if it weren’t for the freedom we have on the internet to do what we like, say what we like, and go where we like online, most of you would never have heard of me.  Guess what?  If I were to have to pay extra fees for you to find me, you never would have.  I’m an average guy, and I don’t have the money to cover the costs of directing fees from the internet carriers out there!  I don’t have the money to buy the “tiered” plans of the internet, where they’ll give me 12 specific internet “channels” for $20 a month, and then charge me 10 cents a megabit on any other site I go to, or I cold pay $40, and they’ll include gaming sites, and tack on an extra $40 in regulatory fees so that way they’re not liable when I hit my adult sites and alternative art sites!  It’s rediculous to assume that the internet can be looked at like channels.  That is exactly what current telephone/internet/television providers want to do.  Help the FCC know that you don’t look at the internet like a television.  Go to www.freepress.net, and send your letters to congressmen, members of the house, and the FCC, and tell them that we want Net Neutrality legislation in place.

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One Comment on “RTOD is Going to Bat for Net Neutrality Again”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Albert Ehrmann, III. Albert Ehrmann, III said: RTOD is Going to Bat for Net Neutrality Again: http://wp.me/pucct-61 […]

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