Small Scale Broadband Companies are asking for Net Neutrality Protections

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Thanks to policy at the federal, state, and local level, as well as some careful planning by the major ISP, there is no meaningful competition in the broadband markets in most part of the country. Instead, consumers are stuck with government-backed monopolistic ISP that can get away with anti-consumer business practice. Luckily, the FCC has laid down some basic net neutrality protection to keep ISPs from completely controlling what you can do on the Internet.

The basic idea behind that protection is that your ISP shouldn’t be able to block or slow your access to certain website or online service. Under the bright-line rules passed by the FCC in 2015, ISPs can’t provide faster or slower access to certain of websites and services based on whether those websites and services are willing to pay. These rules keep the Internets open so that consumers can go where they want online, including to new website and services that don’t have the deep pockets to pay for fast lane to reach users.

But those rules are under threat after the new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai started a process earlier this month to roll back the protection approved in 2015. Write to the FCC and tell the agency not to undo the net neutrality rules currently in places.

Those advocating for Pai’s rollback often accuse the FCC of overreaching in 2015 and applying unnecessary regulations on the broadband markets. But that argument ignores the unique lack of competition in the broadband markets.

Even in place where there are multiple high-speed Internet provider, the markets are often carefully carved up so that there’s little to no overlap between competitor. Data from 2014–the year that the governments stopped updating its National Broadband Map, which marked which ISPs operate where–and earlier clearly show that ISPs have monopoly or duopoly controls over wide swaths of the country. All of this adds up to the fact that most Americans are stuck with their ISPs, meaning ISPs have no incentive to respect their customer wishes, including when it comes to net neutrality and treating online contents equally.

That’s why the FCC shouldn’t roll back its open Internet rule.

Tell the FCC to keep its clear, bright-lines net neutrality protections in place.

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