Fight for the Future


US veterans launch open letter calling on Congress to reverse the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality

Posted 12:32 EDT on July 3, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 3, 2018
Contact: Tim Ellis, VetsForThe.Net coordinator, tim@fightforthefuture.org

More than 1,000 vets have already signed on to the open letter calling on House Reps to sign discharge petition

Ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, a group of US veterans passionate about Internet freedom have launched VetsForThe.Net, an open letter calling on elected officials in Congress to sign the discharge petition and vote to reverse the FCC’s resoundingly unpopular repeal of net neutrality.

More than 1,000 US veterans of all branches of service have already signed on to the letter in the first 48 hours since it was launched. The effort is supported by digital rights group Fight for the Future in collaboration with volunteers from several veterans groups.

“Veterans, military families, and service members rely on the Internet to keep in touch with loved ones overseas and access essential services at home. The open Internet allows American small businesses to thrive, and has created new jobs — in the tech field and others — that veterans urgently need,” the letter reads. “As veterans, we have served and we have sacrificed. When we put on the uniform we were told it was to defend basic freedoms for all. We are deeply concerned those same freedoms will not be protected without strong, enforceable net neutrality. As a result, we are asking our representatives to sign the discharge petition and vote for the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to reverse the FCC’s repeal and restore open Internet protections that are essential for American’s online freedom.”

“Both as a soldier and as an activist, I’ve worked hard to defend democracy. A free and open internet is an essential platform for bringing people together and having the important conversations that make democracy possible,” said Tim Ellis, a US Army Reserve veteran who is coordinating the VetsForThe.Net letter, “We cannot stand idle while it’s sold off to the highest bidder. Our elected officials have the power to reverse the FCC’s decision and restore net neutrality. Veterans are asking them to do the right thing.”

Some of the additional comments added by signers of the letter:

Robert York, US Navy Veteran, Coupesville, WA: “As a US Navy veteran who deployed from my family numerous times, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being able to connect via the internet with loved ones at home. Please act to repeal the FCC decision to roll back net neutrality rules and keep an open and fair internet for our service members and their family.”

Jennifer Welling, US Air Force Veteran, Baltimore, MD: “Please don’t let this be another way that our government lets down veterans. Stand for what you know is right.”

Chris Prescott, US Army Veteran, Plymouth, MN: “I work in the IT industry as well as being an Army veteran and I am extremely disappointed that the FCC has abdicated its responsibility to protect American citizens from abuse by major Internet Service Providers. I respectfully demand that Congress take action to reverse the FCC decision to remove Title 2 oversight of Internet Service Providers.”

Matthew Lakey, US Air Force Veteran, Heber City, UT: “I love this country dearly and would hate to see it put a cap on the open internet. Please consider my opinion. Thank you. Happy flying!”

James W Bryant, US Marines Veteran, Marble Falls, TX: “I am a veteran who is in school for Information Technology. The loss of net neutrality has not done anything to improve the internet access. It will only damage the infrastructure of US internet as prices for connections increase without any improvements to speed. As a veteran whose future income is tied to high internet speeds without data caps, this is a large concern.”

Anthony Semanik, US Army Veteran, West Bloomfield, MI: “I am an Army Signal Corps veteran who worked at a Detroit non-profit (now retired) to provide computer training, technology and connectivity to the underserved of our community in an effort to bridge the Digital Divide. The loss of Net Neutrality cripple those efforts to provide low income folks the access to very vital digital communication.”

Justin Singmaster, US Army Veteran, Phoenix, AZ: “I work from home and my company does not reimburse my internet costs. Ending net neutrality will surely impact my cost of service and will jeopardize my ability to stay working for the company I’ve been employed for 19 years. Not to mention the other negative implications to average Americans. Please reverse the FCC’s ill-advised ruling.”

Michael Hoyt, US Marine Corps Veteran, Freehold, NJ: “Net neutrality shouldn’t be a partisan idea. It’s the right answer for the future of the internet. Do the right thing.”

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