Businesses from across the US tell lawmakers how losing net neutrality would threaten their ability to reach customers and grow their businesses online
August 31, 2017 – Late yesterday, a group of over 500 small businesses and trade associations from across the country signed an open letter raising concerns over the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plan to repeal net neutrality. The letter, filed with the FCC by the American Sustainable Business Council, warns that "weakening or rolling back the 2015 protections would be disastrous for the country’s business community" who for decades have relied on open access to the open Internet to do business.
The signatories–ranging from dentist offices to sporting goods stores–highlight how the FCC’s proposed changes would put smaller business at a disadvantage with larger companies. Without strong protections Internet service providers (ISPs) would be permitted to block websites, slow traffic, or charge new access fees. The businesses warn policymakers that, "While big companies might be able to afford a pay-to-play prioritized ‘fast lane’ to users, small and medium sized enterprises like ours cannot."
"These businesses represent their founders’ dreams for a better life and a better world—and they’re how many families put food on the table and pay their bills each month," said Fight for the Future co-founder Holmes Wilson, "The FCC’s plan to end net neutrality puts businesses like these—and the livelihoods of the millions of people that depend on them—in grave danger."
The letter was filed on the final day of the FCC’s controversial net neutrality consultation, which sparked millions of comments, emails, and phone calls in support of Title II following the July 12th day of action. Earlier this week digital rights group Fight for the Future released a second wave of billboards targeting members of Congress who support the FCC’s repeal, building on an initial round of six billboards from earlier this month. The ads are currently running in nine different states while lawmakers are back in their home districts.
Fight for the Future is best known for their role in the massive online protests against SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and continues to organize many of the largest protests in the history of the Internet. They recently organized the high profile Rock Against the TPP tour, as well as historic July 12th Internet-wide day of action to save net neutrality. Learn more at FightFortheFuture.org