As the anticipated and announced December date of the FCC’s net neutrality vote approaches, Texans are contacting their representatives to share their views.
Several Redditors posted what they received in reply, with the response messages ranging from what the users describe as vague or boilerplate emails, to slightly more personalized responses.
“A free and open internet is essential for the American people and everyone in this country deserves quality, affordable internet service,” Vicente Gonzalez of Texas’ 15th district’s response reads. “I believe we should be leveling the playing field and closing the digital divide, not putting up roadblocks to affordable internet service.”
“I am disappointed in the FCC’s decision and believe net neutrality rules are crucial to creating a level playing field online,” Beto O’Rourke‘s email reply reads. “One of the biggest contributions to the internet’s success is the ability of anyone to use it to offer any product, service or type of information.”
Representative Kevin Brady of Texas’ eighth district took a different stance in his response, explaining how valuing all internet traffic the same “sounds fair on the surface,” but keeps internet providers from “determining the best network configurations for their consumer’s unique needs.”
Experts agree, repealing net neutrality law could allow providers to operate in ways previously prohibited when President Obama’s FCC appointees decided to keep the policy; namely, they say it could allow companies to pay for what is commonly referred to as “fast lanes,” or routes of higher speed internet, with increase costs passed on to customers able to pay for the effectively-more premium internet service.
Opponents of a net neutrality repeal say this could be disastrous for consumers, arguing how, if equal access to the internet is no longer the standard, those unable to afford the premium service may be shut out from internet access they currently rely on.
As some further explained, in a nutshell, internet providers would take on the business model of cable providers – charging high fees for basic service because they know their customers are without an alternative.
The FCC is scheduled to vote on whether net neutrality remains December 14.
So far there are over 22 million comments on its page dedicated to the net neutrality debate.
If you’d like to join the supporting side of the cause, demonstrations for net nuetrality across the country, including Houston, are scheduled for Dec. 7 at local Verizon stores, the former employer of the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.