Truth vs. Spam on Net Neutrality

To: David McClure, U.S. Internet Industry Association CEO
CC: Randall Stephenson, AT&T CEO; Brian Roberts, Comcast CEO; Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon CEO

RE: On Net Neutrality

Last week, we at received your “important information” about Net Neutrality, as did many other bloggers who you’ve noticed have written on the issue. We’re impressed that you’ve been following our blog, and we wonder which post inspired you the most: “Industry Nonsense on Net Neutrality” or “How Application Bias Harms the Net.”

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, but your message got caught in our spam filter. We’re glad you felt compelled to write to us, even if it was a mass e-mail about how Net Neutrality will destroy jobs and divide the Democratic Party. For about half a second, as we all gathered around one computer to read your urgent note, we almost abandoned our campaign for an open Internet and free speech. But then we remembered that Net Neutrality is actually vital to how we use the Internet, and that simply ceding control of the Internet to you would mean the death of it.

So now I’m writing on behalf of the entire coalition and the nearly two million public supporters of Net Neutrality to share some important information with you.

First, we think you’ll enjoy this hilarious parody video about two AT&T executives discussing a Net Neutrality strategy. You might consider sending it around the office to get some laughs. We did the same with your e-mail, and many of us are still chuckling.

Second, we’d like to invite you to change your stance on Net Neutrality. Not only does supporting free speech and democracy feel really good at the end of the day, it’s actually a critical investment in the future of our country.

Something tells us, judging from the nature of your e-mail, that you’re not quite ready to fully support Net Neutrality, even though you claim you already do. We don’t know how it happened, but somebody has gotten to you and is spreading misinformation about how Net Neutrality will lead to staggering job loss and thwart the development of broadband infrastructure. But since you’ve been so closely following our blog, you probably already know this.

We’d like to direct your attention to the many studies that have been done that debunk the idea that Net Neutrality will “result in sweeping lay-offs, pushing even more families onto unemployment.” An open Internet actually equals more jobs and innovation. Net Neutrality is the reason the Internet has become a tremendous engine for economic opportunity, giving rise to new companies like Google and eBay, as well as to new Internet-based businesses that are one of our best hopes for jobs going forward.

Maybe you missed the research showing how Net Neutrality has no connection to investments in new Internet infrastructure. Now that we’ve easily put that point to rest, you can bag all the work you’ve been doing to convince civil rights groups, people of color and rural populations that they will never see high-speed Internet if we have strong Net Neutrality protections.

We would cherry-pick a list of quotes from organizations that support Net Neutrality, but they’re just too numerous to list here.

Maybe blasting progressive bloggers with a scary e-mail about Net Neutrality was not your intention. We’re certainly willing to work with you to tweak your talking points to correct the facts and reflect reality. Do get in touch if we can be of service.

In the meantime, look forward to more blog posts from us and others on the importance of a free and open Internet!

Thank you,

Megan Tady

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good