Open Letter from the Internet's Creators Guild: Net Neutrality
The open letter below is on behalf of online creators who are concerned about how Net Neutrality threatens their ability to reach audiences on the web. As an online creator, make sure your voice is heard in this fight.
Sign your name below!
Dear FCC Chairman Ajit Pai & Members of Congress,
We are online creators. We believe making stuff on the Internet is one of the best jobs in the world, and we have been blessed to earn a living doing so in a country where every creator has an equal shot at reaching people on the open Internet.
Online video traffic already represents over 70% of all global web traffic and is estimated to grow to over 80% of all traffic by 2020. Our rapidly growing industry employs hundreds of thousands of people and yet it barely existed more than a decade ago. As creators in this fast-moving industry, changes to the existing Net Neutrality rules would have an outsized impact on our field and jeopardize our livelihood.
Net Neutrality has been crucial to maintaining a level playing field for all creators – from those with tens of millions of subscribers to those with 12 subscribers. Content from all is served equally and this ensures an equal opportunity for success to anyone wishing to enter the market. Independent creators such as ourselves would be greatly disadvantaged by the removal of Title II protections and the inevitable creation of fast lanes that would privilege the large media companies that can afford to pay for such service.
The Internet is essential infrastructure for our economy and culture. It has ushered in an unprecedented era of freedom for communication. And thanks to strong net neutrality rules, users have been in the driver’s seat of choosing what is successful online, without interference from government or Internet service provider (ISP) gatekeepers.
Unfortunately, the FCC’s current plan to roll-back the 2015 Open Internet Order directly attacks these liberties, and gives ISPs new top-down controls over how our creations are distributed.
In 2015, over 4 million people spoke out to demand strong, enforceable net neutrality rules rooted in Title II protections to keep the Internet open, and to prevent telecommunications giants from controlling what we see, hear and do online. With the 2015 Open Internet Order, Internet users secured the strongest legal foundation for net neutrality possible.
But now, an effort to undo these strong protections is being rammed through the FCC, despite a public outcry from millions of Internet users, civil society organizations and companies across the political spectrum. As many experts have pointed out, the FCC’s new regulations would allow ISPs to block, throttle, and divide the Internet into fast and slow lanes.
We agree with the overwhelming majority of Americans who support strong net neutrality protections, and do not think telecom companies should be given powers to block or slow services online.
ISPs like Comcast could become gatekeepers of the Internet, using their powers to favor certain content based on how much they can pay, or which companies have a seat at the table. There are also conflicts of interest where the largest ISPs own media outlets, and can give more favorable treatment to their content over our creations.
These regulatory changes will give ISPs immense influence over how we as creators can connect with each other and our audiences. If real Title II net neutrality is lost, we will lose the permissionless innovation that has made creativity on the Internet so great. Internet providers will have new influence over how we as creators can connect with each other and our audiences, which will have major implications for the diversity of voices available online.
In response, the Internet Creators Guild and the undersigned are committed to ensuring the Internet remains an open platform and oppose any rollback of the 2015 Open Internet Order. Our audiences and the American public, regardless of political orientation, favor strong net neutrality protections. We will use the open Internet to organize to stop the FCC from rolling back net neutrality rules.
We’re in this for the long-haul. We will fight for as long as it takes to convince you and your colleagues to oppose any legislation or regulatory changes that would threaten real, enforceable Title II net neutrality.
These protections promote cultural and economic freedoms that drive creativity, job creation, and investment in broadband – and, importantly, prevent telecom monopolies from controlling what we see, hear, and create on the Internet.
We strongly urge you to oppose anything that would threaten this level playing field. The stakes are simply too high for our democracy, culture, and economy.
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