Startups have a voice in the FCC

— the net neutrality campaign strategy

Right now, we are in the middle of the FCC comment period for the proposed ruling making on net neutrality. You probably signed a petition, called your representative & senator and maybe filed a brief comment with the FCC.

So what’s happening next?

So right now, a coalition of companies, advocacy groups, & prominent individuals are all working different angles to get the FCC and Chairman Tom Wheeler to understand that for any type of net neutrality to be protected, it must be under Title II common carrier regulations.

This is going to be the summer of education.

We need to tell the FCC & senators that Title II is the only way to protect neutrality. Why do we need to emphasize education? Washington takes a long time to hear us regular folks.

A successful grassroots effort will take ~six months of heavy education in the press and in DC circles before anything fruitful can happen. There are also people that need to be encouraged and provided political cover so they can do the right thing (looking at you, Tom Wheeler).

All throughout the summer, the coalition will be pounding this message: that Title II is the only way to protect neutrality and prevent cable company fuckery. The cable & telephone companies are internet access providers — not the internet.

And a word to those that are against government regulations in general, know this:

  • this is not a fight between no regulations vs. more regulations. It’s about bad regulations (via Section 706) vs. better regulations (Title II common carrier).
  • It’s not about regulating “the internet”
  • it’s about regulating the “terminating access monopolies” in internet access marketplace. Think the on-ramp, not the superhighway.

In the last decade, we were under de-facto net neutrality regulations until the recent court case where the court said mandating net neutrality via section 706 is untenable. This is why the FCC must use Title II as a basis for protecting net neutrality.

Calling & emailing government officials seems like it would not be very useful, but it actually is. Congress and the FCC take a lot of interest in these phone calls and letters. They literally tally the umber of letters & calls to see the number of their constituents that are for & against an issue and use that to inform their postions.

On a number of occasions, the FCC has altered positions in response to the overwhelming public response. There a lot of people inside the FCC that support net neutrality and every phone call & letter helps. Even the protests in front of the FCC building has Chairman Tom Wheeler coming out to read the pro-net neutrality material.

TL;DR

  • This is not a fight between no regulations vs. more regulations. It’s about bad regulations (via Section 706) vs. better regulations (Title II common carrier). Everyone needs to educate their friends, family, newspapers & senators that Title II is the only way to protect net neutrality. Help educate people by sharing the FCC comments submitted by startups.

Also, check out Contextly’s amazing FCC comment as an example template for your comment filing. Try not to make comments like these!

Originally published at pinwale.tumblr.com.