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Tell the FCC: Net Neutrality is crucial to free software

by Libby Reinish Contributions Published on Jul 14, 2014 05:09 PM
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) needs to be convinced that Net Neutrality is worth saving.

UPDATE: The FCC has extended the comment deadline to Friday, July 18, 2014 at midnight. Why the extension? The FCC's servers are crashing--they can't seem to handle the number of public comments coming in. Keep 'em coming!

The agency has asked members of the public, along with industry leaders and entrepreneurs, to tell it why Internet Service Providers should be banned from traffic discrimination. This comment window is one of the best opportunities we've had to make an impact. Comments are due July 18, 2014. Submit your statement in support of Net Neutrality right away using the Electronic Frontier Foundation's free software commenting tool.

Net neutrality, the principle that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally, should be a basic right for Internet users. It's also crucial for free software's continued growth and success. Here's why:

Media distribution giants that use Digital Restrictions Management and proprietary software to control what's on your computer have also been fighting for years to control the network. Without Net Neutrality, DRM-laden materials could be easier to access, while DRM-free competitors could be stuck in the slow lane. Web-based free software projects like GNU MediaGoblin could also suffer the slow treatment while competitors like YouTube shell out big bucks for speedier service. The bottom line--an Internet where the most powerful interests can pay for huge speed advantages could push smaller free software projects right off the map and make it harder for decentralized projects to flourish. That's not good for free software, and it's not good for other innovative voices for change in the digital world.

Tell the FCC: Net Neutrality will help free software flourish

Activists have worked for years to get to this moment. Over the last several months, things have really heated up--with Internet freedom lovers camping out outside of the FCC, serenading FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler with a special version "Which Side Are You On?" The comments flooding in to the agency have jammed the phones and crashed the FCC's email servers. And yet, Chairman Wheeler still thinks he can get away with ignoring overwhelming public outrage and wrecking the free Internet. We have to keep up our historic momentum in order to convince a cable-industry sympathizer like Chairman Wheeler to listen to the public and protect Net Neutrality.

The deadline for comments is July 18, 2014. Don't delay--comment now!

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