Let me tell you two quick stories.
First story: I work for a very small marketing non-profit. We don’t have a ton of funding, but we work hard, and all things considered, we’re pretty frickin’ successful marketing our product on the Internet. The main reason we’re so successful is net neutrality.
Net neutrality levels the playing field. It lets us compete freely against the big dogs, without having to pay extra fees to be seen. We don’t have to worry that half our marketing demographic will never see us because they haven’t paid enough for an Internet package that lets our site load on their computers. We don’t have to worry that our competitors are paying to be delivered faster to customers’ browsers.
Because of net neutrality, we get to accomplish our good work and be seen (or not seen) on the basis of our advertising and social media savvy alone. Because of net neutrality, our talent gets us heard even though we’re a small outfit and don’t have millions to spend.
Second story: Several years ago James and I wrote a serial novel. We published weekly on the Internet for just over a year. We averaged over 1,000 unique views per chapter posted. Maybe that doesn’t sound like much compared to big authors, but over a thousand people a week were stopping by this very website to check out each new chapter. We found a not-inconsiderable audience, online, for free, for our fiction. It was amazing.
Net neutrality gave us that. No one had to pay extra or wait a minute and a half for each page to load. We didn’t have to miss out on audience share just because people weren’t buying the “Personal Blog Addition” to their “Internet Package.” We had just as much chance of being found and seen as anyone else out there.
Net neutrality gave us that opportunity. Net neutrality gave you that opportunity. Net neutrality gives you the opportunity to find and support small artists and small businesses every single day. It brings you little joys and big information, new things you might never have found otherwise.
It lets each of us express our voice on equal terms with everyone else. Net neutrality means Comcast, a political party, or a competing website can’t pay money you don’t have to shut you out.
Net neutrality backed by Title II protections guarantees a free and open Internet, and that is one of the most important tools we have in our arsenal against corporate and political interests.
Don’t let them take that away from you. Take a few minutes today to call your representatives and senators (CallYourRep.co) and tell them you support a free and open Internet with net neutrality backed by Title II protections. Visit BattleForTheNet.com and send the FCC and Congress a letter. Comment on the FCC website in support of net neutrality (here are a few tips for making a good comment).