In today’s world, access to the internet is vital. Every day, Central New Yorkers go online to pay bills, complete school projects, connect with family members across the world and look for employment. Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) newest proposal seeks to end consumer protections, which would be a huge win for internet service providers (ISPs) at the expense of users.
Net neutrality rules currently in place, mandate that ISP’s treat all web content equally. The FCC’s proposal would end net neutrality regulations and open the door for ISPs to take advantage of consumers. This would harm local businesses and families who need reliable access to the internet.
This decision could impact the way online businesses interact with consumers, skewing the consumer market and hurting the local economy. Local online businesses could face losses that affect their livelihood should broadband speeds become brokered deals and benefit some companies over others.
New Yorkers also can’t afford to see the cost of their internet go up just so they can visit the websites they need in their daily lives. Much like electricity or running water, internet access has become a necessity, not simply a matter of convenience.
We must stand together against this proposal, which would promote unfair business practices and hurt consumers. Recently, I sent a letter to the FCC encouraging them to vote down the proposal. The proposal weakens consumer protections and sets a dangerous precedent.
Proceedings for the FCC’s “Restoring Internet Freedom” proposal are ongoing and I encourage residents to reach out and make their views known. Comments can be made to the FCC by calling 888-225-5322 (TTY 888-835-5322) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or by visiting fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express and entering 17-108 in the first field to direct comments to the specific proceeding.
I’ll continue lending my voice and doing my part to protect consumers and help ensure that everyone in Central New York can access the internet without facing skyrocketing costs.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about this or any other community issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me at StirpeA@nyassembly.gov or by calling 315-452-1115.