Greeting fellow web users!
I just recently let the FCC know my stance on this issue in brief, and I thought I would share a bit here about why net neutrality is important to me.
The internet and the freedoms it provides are very personal to me. When I was growing up it was very difficult to make friends in my area. Being a geek wasn’t ‘cool’ or ‘trending’ then, and so my classmates ostracized me. It didn’t help that I was scrawny, nonathletic, and a ‘four-eyes’. I found the internet fairly early on and I found a home there. People who gravitated to the net back then tended to be the kind of people who shared in the same geeky interests as me so it was easier to form friendships. They weren’t judging me – they were willing to give me a chance.
Fast forward about 20 years, and the internet is still a sort of home to me. Sure, I have friends now that I don’t need a monitor and keyboard to reach, but I don’t think that would have happened had I not had the support structure I found online.
Now, it is not just my personal life I have concerns about. This also stands to affect my livelihood. If we have to start paying for prioritization my ability to make money as a free-lance web designer and administrator is going to be threatened. I’m not a large organization, I’m an individual, and neither me nor my clients have deep pockets. For me to be able to keep doing what I love, and helping people who need my services, the internet needs to remain a free and open place.
The telecom companies will try to say this stifles innovation; while in actuality it is that freedom that has brought about so much innovation. We are at a turning point again, where we need to speak up and make sure our voices are heard. Whether you are a seasoned netizen like myself, or just a common web user, what happens to our internet freedom will affect you for years to come. I urge everyone to get involved in this battle for the net (https://www.battleforthenet.com/).