To: President Donald Trump
President Obama: Fulfill your promise to keep the Internet open and free
Mr. President, please save the Internet. You can't let the FCC Chairman you appointed, Tom Wheeler, break your promise to keep the Internet open and free. Please publicly state your support for the FCC to reclassify the Internet as a public utility, like our water, electricity, and phone lines, so we can stop the corporations who pipe the Internet into our homes, like Verizon and Comcast, from creating fast and slow lanes based on how much a website can pay. That would bring an end to the Internet as we know it.
Why is this important?
One of the many reasons I care about Internet freedom is because I worked as an Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the oldest and most prestigious government consulting firms, to support implementation of the Obama administration's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The program gave out $9.7 billion in grants to help bridge the technological divide, create jobs, and improve education, health care, and public safety in communities across the country.
When I heard about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal to allow the corporations who control the infrastructure of the Internet to create fast and slow lanes for websites based on how much they're able to pay, I couldn't help but feel that the Obama administration was undoing a lot of the important work we did together investing in communities to make sure they got the access to the Internet that they needed.
I supported President Obama in 2008 and 2012 in part because of his commitment to Internet freedom, which he's publicly declared multiple times. In 2007, then-candidate Obama specifically stated that Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon should not be able to charge "different rates to different websites"—but that is exactly what the FCC Chairman President Obama appointed, Tom Wheeler, is proposing.
Don't let Chairman Wheeler advance a proposal that breaks one of President Obama's campaign promises and brings an end to the Internet as we know it. Please tell President Obama to come out in support of reclassifying the Internet as public utility, like our water, electricity, and phone lines, so that all those communities we helped get Internet access can continue to enjoy a free and open Internet, along with everyone else in the world.