Sam Jammal, former Obama Administration Official and Tesla employee, is running for Congress in California’s 39th District, challenging 24-year incumbent Ed Royce.

Innovation Relies on a Free Open Internet

On Monday, the same day I announced my campaign for congress, I filed my comment to the FCC in support of net neutrality. Here is what I submitted:

I am writing in strong support of preserving net neutrality. We are an economy where technology is driving our growth. Net Neutrality has been the basis of American innovation and commerce since the turn of the century.

Steps were taken by the last Administration to ensure we have an open and free Internet. I am concerned that recent proposals will roll back net neutrality, which would have severe consequences for our economy and ability to communicate.

It is essential that the FCC stand up for net neutrality. As many have commented, our politics today are broken, and Congress seems incapable of acting on this issue without bowing to pressure from special interests. The legislative branch has not acted to safeguard Internet freedoms, but fortunately, there is already strong legal footing that prior FCC decisions stand on. We don’t need Congress to act to preserve the Internet. We do need the FCC to preserve and perfect rules that strengthen net neutrality, not roll them back.

Facebook, Google, and so many others were once only ideas, and without an open and free Internet, they may have never been possible. We don’t know who will be the next Facebook, but we do know that innovation creates jobs and is the underpinning of the new economy. Allowing a few at the top to control access for the rest of us would turn the marketplace of ideas into a monopoly, and literally slow down our growth of creativity and innovation. We can’t afford this in today’s economy, but we should also never be using the law to limit innovation in order to protect a small and select few.

Americans built the Internet into the open and fair space it is today, and led the way in online innovation. If we are to allow the next generation of American innovators to succeed, we must keep the Internet open to the best ideas — not the highest bidder. We are an ideas economy and net neutrality is a foundation for that economy.

Even more fundamental to the debate over net neutrality is our ability to communicate. The Internet has changed how we consume information. This allows more voices to be heard and creators to build content without the limitations of traditional media filters. This has led to an explosion in new jobs across Southern California and the nation. We should be promoting that growth, not trying to slow it down just to satisfy a handful of powerful interests.

— Sam Jammal