The Federal Communications Commission’s decision to repeal network neutrality principles for internet service providers threatens people’s abilities to participate in democracy via the internet. Without network neutrality, internet service companies can determine which content we can see, how quickly we can access it, and how much we pay for it.
Throughout the country, business owners have spoken out about the negative effect that a more unequal internet would have on their companies. Advocates for a wide range of causes have weighed in to warn about the potential harms of allowing internet companies to block, slow down, or charge more for content with which those companies disagree. Educators have expressed concerns about the need for an open and equal internet in order to ensure that students and classrooms have the information they need. Healthcare experts have noted the importance of net neutrality for ensuring electronic access to health records and access to telemedicine. Clergy have discussed the importance of an open internet for providing information to their congregations. And many groups have discussed the particular importance of net neutrality for rural communities, people of color, and low-income people.
States can and must take action to protect net neutrality and shield their residents from unfair and unjust practices--and Connecticut should be next to act.