Call of the Day: Call To Support NET Neutrality

On May 18th, the FCC voted to begin a proceeding that will completely gut consumer protections for the open internet.  Now Trump’s FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to strip those away, allowing cable and Internet Service Provider (ISP) giants to swoop in and pick winners and losers online—to decide what you can or can’t do, see, or say.  

The proposal rolls back critical protections, allowing internet service providers such as Comcast and Verizon to make fast lanes and slow lanes on the internet, picking who can and can’t watch what, say what, and be heard. There is no good reason other than crony capitalism to gut the rules. Let's call our Congressmen and demand they stand up for net neutrality!

It was explained to me like this:  For the sake of an example, Amazon could pay Verizon, not only for increased internet speeds accessing their web servers, but also for reducing the internet speed of accessing competitor's web servers.  Let's say you're searching for a book, ... your search results could possibly not present your local, independent bookseller's web site because their internet speed had been throttled to the point of not functioning.  Or potentially, a bullied, or depressed, or gay teen is looking for information, which would never be returned in their search results.  In effect this is not only controlling speed, but controlling content.

 WHO TO CALL:

Representative Cedric Richmond (2nd District), in Washington, DC at (202) 225-6636, and in New Orleans at (504)288-3777

Representative Steve Scalise (1st District), in Washington, DC at (202) 225-3015, and in Metairie at (504) 837-1259

Senator Bill Cassidy in Washington, DC at (202) 224-5824, and in Metairie at (504) 838-0130

Senator John Kennedy in Washington DC at (202) 224-4623, and in Monroe at (318) 361-1489

Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent.  Be concise - the office will get through more calls that way.  Be polite and don't argue with the staffer - they don't set policy.  If you get a voicemail, then leave a message.  And if you get a busy signal -- call back later!

Sample script:

Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].

I am calling on the Senator/Representative to let them know I want them to OPPOSE FCC Chairman Pai’s proposal to get rid of net neutrality protections.  This proposal would eliminate the critical protections for openness, transparency, and nondiscrimination that consumers currently enjoy, leaving them to the whims of Big Cable and ISP monopolies and their highest bidders.

Thank you for your time and hard work answering the phones. Stay safe out there.

To see more about net neutrality, see this Indivisible primer which was used to develop this script.

 BONUS: Leave a message for the FCC online here

This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible (excluding the example scenario's above).