Cable and phone companies have been fighting proposed rules that, if adopted, would protect broadband users from Internet Service Providers’ (ISPs) anti-consumer practices. The proposed rules would give the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the authority to step in if ISPs are unfairly blocking or downgrading some Internet traffic. These rules are needed because many ISPs want to change the way the net has operated by giving preferential treatment to the web sites of companies willing to pay more, while discriminating against others that can’t pay up.
The FCC’s proposed rules would also allow the agency to adopt policies to spur investment in deploying the Internet to rural areas, and help low-income consumers get connected.
The cable and phone companies repeat the same claim many corporations use when attempting to block public interest rules: consumer protections will hurt jobs, and deter investment. But in fact, AT&T and Verizon have cut jobs even in their most profitable years. And some of the greatest economic value of the Internet is generated from companies that use the web, such as small businesses, and e-commerce companies, which need to be protected from unfair ISP practices.
We must protect the entrepreneurs and small businesses that use the Internet – and that are vital to our economic recovery – by ensuring the web remains open to anyone with a good idea, and not controlled by just a few corporate interests.
Click here to read the full fact sheet provided by the Media and Democracy Coalition.]]>