Network Neutrality simplified

I wrote a letter to my local paper giving a simplified explanation of the network neutrality issue, for the low-tech crowd. You can read it below:

The FCC is considering a proposal to allow Internet service companies to give higher and lower priority status to websites who pay special fees, and to restrict consumer access to websites who don’t pay for this special status. Consumers pay for access to the Internet, which means all of the websites on it; websites pay their own Internet service costs. This proposal is akin to companies setting up an extra tollway on a road you already paid to use.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is a former lobbyist for these Internet service providers. The fox is in the henhouse and the FCC is now being abused to give special kickbacks to Internet service companies, and in doing so risks the free flow of ideas in America. Your favorite websites will soon be slower or go completely dark, unless they pay the special fees. If your local Internet service company doesn’t like a website because it doesn’t agree with their politics, they can block it altogether.
The only viable solution is to reclassify Internet service as a common carrier. This would make it like phone service. Your phone company can’t decide who you can and cannot call, and Internet companies shouldn’t be able to control which Websites work and which Websites don’t.

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