This is why I love John Oliver: he manages to distill boring-sounding issues such as #netneutrality into hilarious presentations that make it crystal-clear what is actually at stake. In this case, the cable companies want to divide the internet into a paid fast lane for the global giants and a free dirt road for everyone else. This would, of course, be disastrous for online entrepreneurs, indie writers and publishers, and anyone else who isn’t able to pay what they ask; it would completely destroy our ability to compete.
Sound good to you? Nope, me either; it would completely screw my own small business, as well as the micro-enterprises of many people I know. If you’d like to help fight it, you can write a letter to the FCC, or call your congressman. But hurry! The deadline to make our voices heard is July 15th.
Here’s my own letter:
I’m Beth Lynch and I live in Eugene, OR.
Net neutrality, the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) treat all data that travels over their networks equally, is important to me because without it I would not be able to run my tiny home business, which I am hoping to grow to support myself and my family.
A pay-to-play Internet worries me because not only micro-entrepreneurs but also the average person will suffer due to the lack of diversity available online.
The Internet is important to me because, as a disabled artist and writer, selling my goods and services online presents my very best hope to be able to provide a living income for my household, and I need to know that I won’t be fighting an impossible battle against gigantic corporations. I know that many tiny handmade businesses such as my own are in the same position; if internet users find it too difficult to load our websites and see our products, it will be impossible for us to grow or succeed. This will effectively kill online entrepreneurship, which in the long run will have a crushing effect on the economy as well as on the American spirit.