When I announced my campaign for Congress, I knew I would be fighting for the core values of our country, but I never thought I would have to defend the very freedom of information on the Internet. But here we are.
In two days, the FCC will vote on repealing net neutrality, the set of rules that keep our Internet open, equal, and accessible. The Internet has always been viewed as a public good akin to highways or roads- once you get onto the Internet, you don’t have to worry about unexpected tolls because you decide to visit a certain website or service. But the Trump administration is poised to reclassify and hijack our Internet in just this way, at the behest of the big Telecom companies.
If net neutrality is repealed, ISPs (internet service providers) will be able to prioritize certain traffic over others. You’ll have to pay premiums for the information you get online every day. Websites and products owned by the ISPs could be given preferential treatment. Smaller companies won’t be able to compete with the corporate giants. It’s an abuse of power, and it could very well happen.
The Internet is no longer a novelty. We use it every day of our lives. Companies are built on it, employees perform their jobs through it, students need it to learn and many use it to obtain health insurance. It is the infrastructure of the 21st Century, and it’s now under attack.
Earlier this year, Congressional Republicans, including my opponent Congresswoman Mimi Walters, who has taken nearly $50,000 from the telecommunications industry, voted to erase Internet privacy rules preventing ISPs from selling our data. Now, the Trump administration is poised to go much further and eliminate net neutrality, one of the core consumer protections that has been key to the development of the Internet. Republicans in Congress, acting on behalf of the telecom companies that support them, are more than comfortable if the FCC repeals these rules. The fight will continue in every piece of legislation they have a hand in drafting. It’s why we need to elect members of Congress that will defend the freedom of the Internet well after this decision is made.
We have a lot of work to do in this country. We can’t let the Internet become a place that only prioritizes the interests of big corporations and the wealthy. The FCC needs to keep it free and open.
And if they don’t, then we’ll work to get it back.
Call your member of Congress now and ask them to save net neutrality: 202-224-3121