June 30, 2010; Source: Common Dreams | You’ll find some major players as signatories to this letter to the Federal Communications Commission supporting the agency’s efforts to protect the open Internet and Net Neutrality. (For newcomers to the issue, the American Library Association has an excellent summary of Net Neutrality, and for more visual learners, this hilarious Daily Show clip is a PG-13-rated version of the same.)
NTEN, Blackbaud, Techsoup, Network for Good, and many other nonprofits, businesses, and support organizations comprise the 150 advocates for an open Internet, claiming that Net Neutrality bolsters civic engagement, and empowers nonprofits to carry out their public interest work. Holly Ross, Executive Director of NTEN, says that “without Net Neutrality, some of the most well-known nonprofits would not be able to carry out their missions.”
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The letter follows a judicial ruling earlier this year, in which the FCC’s regulatory power over the Internet was diminished. Following Comcast v. FCC, Internet service providers (ISPs) are currently permitted to distinguish between types of information that reach your computer. Web traffic can be purposely slowed by ISPs, which do not neutrally pass along the information you request, but instead decide which information travels uninhibited, and which gets fettered by their constraints. Net neutrality advocates are trying to counter the court’s ruling by moving regulation of the Internet back under the FCC’s purview, by legally reclassifying the Internet as a telecommunications service.—James David Morgan