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Save Net Neutrality - Petition the FCC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may be on the verge of a huge mistake that would hand over the internet to the 1%.

On May 15, the FCC will consider a rule that would create a new “pay-to-play” fast lane which would allow big corporations to pay an extra fee to get their content prioritized to users. Independent, grassroots sites like World Pulse and our own individual sites would be left to suffer in an internet slow lane.

Please ladies, this could be the greatest threat to our online connectivity of all the challenges we face! Sign the petition to save Net neutrality by urging the FCC to scrap their horrible "pay-to-play" proposal HERE

Let’s be clear—this isn’t about better service of streaming video or faster broadband speeds. This is about broadband providers being able to create another way to make additional profit from charging more for access to the internet without any new investment to expand service or speed.

This would lead to more corporate sponsorship and control over the internet, which would lead to grassroots, independent sites being relegated to the slow lane.

This goes against everything that is great about the internet. Please sign the petition to save Net neutrality by urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to abandon this dangerous proposal.

(text edited from an email I received from the Daily Kos petition/cause site)

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

Comments

gracest's picture

Thank you!

Hanasazi,

This issue could not be more relevant to this particular digital action campaign relating to women's access to the Internet. Passage of the Pay to Play rule would inevitably trickle down to affect basic Internet access, as you've described.
It is so disappointing that federal and corporate regulations are threatening one of the greatest tools the modern era can offer to the 99% as a way to freely connect and exchange information.
Thanks for posting the link to the petition, and I hope that it helps to spread the word!

Grace

hanasazi's picture

Thanks for commenting, Grace.

Thanks for commenting, Grace. I hope the information causes a LOT of women to sign the petition. It's really the only way we can have some input into the situation. I've seen with other issues that if they (legislators and the FCC) are overwhelmed with thousands of signatures they do take notice. I don't know how many members World Pulse has, but we're all about digital access and inclusiveness and that's what net neutrality is all about, so I'm sure if we could mobilize everyone to sign the petition and let their voices be heard we can add pages and pages to this petition with our many signatures. The petition provides a place to add your comments, so each woman can tell their own story and let them know WHY it's so important to protect EVERYONE'S access to a free and open internet! They need our point of view, otherwise they will not consider the needs of women in remote places/places where internet access is already limited when making a final decision. The internet is our bullhorn and we all have important things to say, so we can't let them take our bullhorn away without raising our voices in protest!

hanasazi's picture

Here is an example:

Here is what I wrote when signing one petition regarding this urgent situation for those who would like to weigh in but aren't sure what to say.

"Net neutrality principles are essential to a 21st century internet. The FCC should protect the open internet and further, treat it as a telecommunications service to disincentivize greedy ISPs from trying to extract additional fees from consumers and web content creators and limiting or blocking content from other websites.

I am a member of the global community of women at WorldPulse.com, a website founded by Jensine Larsen of Portland, OR. We are terribly concerned about the prospects of losing the neutrality of the internet, because the "little people" of the world, including the women we are trying to empower so they can tell their stories online, change their lives and those of their families and communities with education, online journalism and ecommerce, need it to effect change. We call it digital empowerment, and the FCCs plan to implement the pay to play rule is 180 degrees in opposition to all we are trying to achieve on behalf of women everywhere. You simply would not believe what some of these women have to do just to access the internet, and if they and their messages are relegated to some kind of internet slow lane while big corporations hog the fast lane, it will be devastating to so many who are trying to effect positive change for their young women and future generations by using the internet. Please, PLEASE don't let this happen! They are already dealing with so much, and the internet was created to be neutral...this essential founding principle is why it's such a blessing and an effective, life-changing tool for women and girls in remote places here in the US and around the world. An education, a voice, and a opportunity to make an income online when many of them have no other options - that's all they want. Will we make that any more difficult for them than it is already? Will we open the door for greedy corporations to charge them more to access the internet and publish online, then limit or block access to their websites? That would be so contrary to everything our country is supposed to be about, and just a horrible thing to subject our friends around the world to. Please DO NOT allow this to happen!

In addition, I earn my entire income and support 3 adults with the money I make as a web designer. Times are still tough, and though I'm getting close to not needing it any more, we do receive assistance that helps us get the groceries we need every month. If the FCC implements this pay to play rule, it would seriously endanger my income and those of everyone I work for who have small businesses online.

People will not only suffer but will cost the country more money in assistance for those whose incomes are negatively impacted by the rule, and a world full of people trying to change their lives for the better via using the internet would have their hopes dashed as soon as they were lifted if you implement this proposal. Please advocate for us little people! Corporations are getting everything they want and more these days, and we the people are forced to bridge the gap. Don't take away the one shred of hope we have to change our lives for the better. Don't let Net Neutrality go by the wayside! Abandon the pay to play proposal!!

Please protect real Net neutrality to ensure a thriving economy and democracy.

Sincerely,
Hannah West"

the Web We Want is a free and open internet. THIS ISSUE WILL BE DECIDED ON MAY 15TH! Please don't delay! Each of these petitions have writeups that explain the issue in greater detail and are all worth reading so you will understand more about this critical issue and know what you are signing:

1) Petition fron MoveOn.org: http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=296192&id=95291-20053187-k9UBT8x&t=1

Text of this petition: "The D.C. Circuit's decision in the Verizon vs. FCC case dealt a huge blow to the open Internet.

Right now there is no one protecting Internet users from ISPs that block or discriminate against websites, applications, or services. Companies like Verizon will now be able to block or slow down any website, application, or service they like. And they'll be able to create tiered pricing structures with fast lanes for those who can afford the tolls and slow lanes for everyone else.

It's time for the new FCC leadership to correct the agency's past mistakes and to reassert the agency's clear authority over our nation's communications infrastructure. To preserve the open Internet, the FCC must reclassify broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service.

Use your authority to establish a solid legal footing for the vital policies and protections this court decision threatens."

This petition allows you to add your own comment and has an informative introduction. At the time I write, there are currently 9,260 signatures. They have set a NEW goal of 10,000 signatures. Let's all sign and put them over the top of their new goal!

2) Petition from CREDO Action: http://act.credoaction.com/go/3125?t=1&akid=10573.7456106.4Ep3YK

Text of this petition:
"At the behest of Verizon, a federal appellate court struck down the FCC’s Open Internet Order and internet providers are now free to discriminate -- block or slow down-- any web site or application they choose. As the new FCC Chair you must reclassify broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service and save Net Neutrality."

This petition has an excellent introduction that will inform you of all the details of this dangerous proposition. At the time I write this comment, they have reached 303,855 of their goal of 350,000 signatures. Let's put them over the top!

3) Petition from RootsAction.com: http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=37pu%2Bn%2FupUnz9WA9KYiMno4m%2Fx2PDWqe

Text of this petition: "We want action for democratic media, not platitudes as smokescreens for corporate domination of the Internet. We want net neutrality." This petition allows you to add your own comment. GOAL: 70,000 signatures; CURRENT: 62,840 Let's help them save the internet with our own signatures and tell the FCC why implementing the Pay-to-Play rule would hurt us.

RootsAction's alarming story that forewarns what could happen if this passes:
"When we sent out the urgent alert "Outrage: FCC Set to Kill Net Neutrality," nearly 40,000 people responded in the first 24 hours -- sending protest emails to every member of the Federal Communications Commission.

Then, suddenly, it all stopped on Friday morning. No one could get to our petition. The flood of emails to the FCC halted.

For several hours, thousands of people -- maybe you were one of them -- got nothing on their screens when they clicked on this link:

Our petition was not alone. A web software firm's screw-up had abruptly paralyzed the sites of many hundreds of organizations. The problems continued all day.

This was a jolting reminder of how much we depend on an open Internet for communication and democratic action.

The FCC is now moving to end net neutrality.

Three months ago, Demand Progress and RootsAction joined with allied groups to deliver a petition with a million signatures to the FCC in support of net neutrality -- to keep the whole Internet available to everyone. But the news just broke that the FCC intends to blow us off and betray the principle of equal access to the Internet.

Tell Chairman Wheeler and the rest of the FCC that we will not stand for this.

When he received those 1 million signatures in January, the FCC chairman said: "One of the great things about what the Internet does and why it needs to stay open, it enables people to organize and express themselves. A million people? That's boffo."

Chairman Wheeler apparently thought a pat on the head would satisfy us. It certainly will not. We don’t want empty rhetoric -- we want a commitment to the democratic principle of net neutrality.

Now, Wheeler, a former cable TV and cell phone industry lobbyist, revealed proposed new rules -- drafted by himself -- that would end net neutrality. Big corporations would pay for faster delivery of their content, making it difficult for smaller operations to compete.

Ironically, the news of the FCC's impending action emerged on the same day that Brazil created the world's first Internet bill of rights -- protecting exactly the democratic principles that Chairman Wheeler and his FCC cohorts are on the verge of assaulting.

The future of an open Internet depends on us."

I hope you will join the many people who have already signed these petitions to let the FCC know how vital Net Neutrality and equal access to the internet is to us, and how strongly we disapprove of the Pay-to-Play rule that would destroy Net Neutrality if they decide to implement it on May 15.

Let's all make our voices heard through one or more of these petitions and do our part to save Net Neutrality. Women do Weave the Web, and the FCC is trying to tear it down, making the internet for the rich and powerful only and marginalizing the rest of our voices and online businesses. WE ONLY HAVE UNTIL MAY 15, when the FCC will decide this matter ~ Let's flood their inboxes with messages telling them why it's important to us!! Thanks, Sisters!

amymorros's picture

Net Neutrality

I agree with you. The situation makes me very nervous and thank you for bringing it up and providing additional information in the comments section. If this changes, it will have a terribly negative impact on all of us. It is bad enough that so many users of this site experience such a wide variety of quality of internet access. Keep up your activism!

Amy
@amyinstl

so you will get a notification! Sorry about that..but I really do want to thank you for your comment, Amy. It's such a shame - first that so many women at World Pulse have such difficult barriers to overcome just for safe and reliable internet access, and now the prospect of being relegated - marginalized, in fact - to a slower, less visible part of the internet that was originally formed to level the playing field for everyone, everywhere.

I hope that you and many more of our World Pulse sisters will sign one or more of the petitions, and tell their own stories about why this Pay-to-Play proposal would be a disaster for them to the decision makers, in a united effort to preserve Net Neutrality for women (and other "little people") around the world.

hanasazi's picture

Thanks Amy!

Any help that readers of this post can do by sharing with others will be very important. Working together, we can make a difference!

hanasazi's picture

We are working hard to

We are working hard to overturn the original Supreme Court ruling that made such horrific developments as the Pay-to-Play proposal possible, but meanwhile the deadline on the Net Neutrality/Pay-to-Play proposal looms large, so we have to do all we can to voice our disfavor strongly by May 15.

The other side of democracy is that it is the responsibility of its citizens to maintain it. This requires ongoing battles, and though every fight seems to be a David & Goliath match since we're contesting wealthy corporations at every turn, the widespread use of online petitions has prevented and reversed other such onerous proposals from going through, so I hope we can succeed with this one, too. From teachers who use the Internet to show the world to their students to doctors who use it to find the latest medical research that could save lives, an open Internet, free from discrimination, benefits us all. We must let our disapproval of anything that would prevent our free and equal use of the internet be known.

♥ to anyone who will lend their signature on a petition to help! Hannah

PS: A recent email from one of the petition sites made the importance of this fight very clear with this short list. Please take special note of number 3 on the list:

1. Small businesses and retailers pushed into the slow lane could lose out even more to the Amazons and Targets of the world, as research has shown that even marginally slower download times drive people away from websites.1
2. Eventually, websites might pass the cost of fast-lane access on to their users, forcing us to pay more for goods or services.2
3. Communities of color and other marginalized groups, who have used the Internet to catapult often ignored issues into the media headlines, could be silenced by the pay-to-play scheme.3

Sources:
1. "For Impatient Web Users, an Eye Blink Is Just Too Long to Wait," The New York Times, February 29, 2012

2. "Internet Fast Lanes May Raise Consumer Costs," U.S. News & World Report, April 30, 2014

3. "This is Why the FCC's New Net Neutrality Rules Could Disempower Communities of Color," Fusion, April 28, 2014

Mary S's picture

Hi Hannah Thanks for sharing

Hi Hannah

Thanks for sharing the petition. It wouldn't let me sign it as I am not in America, but I completely agree that the proposed law is a bad idea. The internet should be equally open to everyone. Big corporations already have a lot (sometimes too much) power, and that law would only make things worse and make it harder for small organisations and ordinary people to get their voices heard.

Mary

hanasazi's picture

Oh, dear, I'm so sorry!

I really did think that everyone here would be able to sign, thank you so much for letting me know what you experienced so the rest of our sisters in other countries will know. I deeply appreciate your willingness to try! You are so right, and I'm really getting fed up with corporations writing our laws and politicians passing them without even reading them, so when I saw that this proposed action would affect not just us, but precious people the world over who are trying to improve their lives by using the internet, I just became furious! I want you and every woman here at World Pulse, and every woman who wants to learn and to use the internet to become a change-maker, to be able to do so without having to plod along in some internet backwater, or to have to pay big money for a position in the fast lane. I pray to God we can keep this from happening.

Mary S's picture

Hi HannahIt wanted a ZIP and

Hi Hannah

It wanted a ZIP code and wouldn't let me sign without one. Here in Britain we have post codes, which are similar but in a different format.

Hopefully the campaign will be successful!

Mary

hanasazi's picture

Thank you so much, Mary. I

Thank you so much, Mary. I hope so too, for all our sakes!! Thanks for connecting with me...

hanasazi's picture

Today is the day...

I just learned that today is the closing day for the FCC to receive comments regarding the proposed Pay-to-Play rule. Any of our World Pulse sisters in the US should take a moment to sign the FCC's petition before the deadline shuts us out. Let's hope our disapproval causes them to abandon this proposal!!
CLick to sign the Daily Kos Petition to the FCC

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