Would you enjoy using the Internet more if it were slower? Of course not! But a slower Internet could become the reality for many of us, under rule changes proposed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC’s proposed guidelines would effectively divide the Internet into a “fast lane” for companies that can afford to pay for better connectivity, and a “slow lane” for everyone else. “Net Neutrality”–the idea that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all users the same–be they small businesses run by a single founder, or global corporations with tens of thousands of employees–would be no more.
On Wednesday, September 10, 2014, Gilt will join other companies and citizens in asking U.S. lawmakers to defend Net Neutrality and protect the Internet–and we need YOU to join us! On Sept. 10, we’ll provide some tools to help you to contact the White House and the FCC to let them know that you support an equal, open Internet. Meantime, spread your support via social media, using the hashtag #NetNeutrality.
Why Gilt Cares About Net Neutrality
Gilt has been able to grow from a five-person team into a company with more than 1000 employees working in cities around the world–from New York to Dublin to Tokyo to Louisville, Kentucky. We owe much of our success to an open, equal Internet. If we’d been restricted to a “slow lane” when we started out in 2007, getting Gilt up and running would have been much more difficult–if not impossible. We want other entrepreneurs to have their fair shot at starting new companies that will create jobs, introduce new technologies and business models, and make the world a better–and more interesting–place.
Why September 10 Is an Important Date
A groundswell of support on September 10 will suggest to our lawmakers that they should treat Net Neutrality an election issue. The FCC’s public comment period on Net Neutrality ends on September 15. According to NBC News, so far the FCC has received more than 1.1 million comments on this issue–99 percent in favor of preserving Net Neutrality. “300,000 comments were original compositions,” NBC says–a ratio far higher than what most issues generate.
Keep the Internet Equal
Imagine a world where tech start-ups, fashion designers, crafters, and other small businesses never launch–all because they can’t pay the fees necessary to drive in “the Internet fast lane.” The prospects of this happening should worry anyone who believes in innovation, creativity and the American dream.
Millions of Americans–including President Barack Obama, CEOs, nonprofits, religious groups, even celebrities–oppose a two-lane Internet. They’ve expressed their support of Net Neutrality in public statements, comments to the FCC and Congress, and past awareness campaigns. But the fight isn’t over: We need the FCC to establish a strong, clear rule that protects Net Neutrality once and for all, so this issue doesn’t come up again.
Please join us on September 10 in telling our lawmakers to protect the Internet!