An Open Letter to Ajit Pai

Mr. Pai,

If you believe – truly believe – that corporations have the public’s best interest in their hearts, why do you work for the government? Why is there a government at all?

 

You know the answer to this question. Your position as the Chairman of the FCC is to protect the public against abuses of power from companies that are otherwise too large to keep in check.

 

What you are doing now does not resemble in any shape or form protection. There is not a single consumer who wants to pay less for worse internet access. Consumers do not make trade-offs like that. What you’re doing is letting companies force people to make choices or suffer the consequences.

 

Why the word “force”? Because abandoning the internet is not an option for citizens of the United States. It would be like abandoning water. And if you are so naive as to argue for a return to caveman times, that would undermine all of your arguments for the need for “innovation”.

 

Let’s call it what it is: your attempt at “dergulation” is a naked power grab supported by the ISPs who live in your pocket. The consequences of your actions will have negative effects across our entire society for years to come.

 

You think that companies will be transparent about throttling? You are instead setting up endless legal showdowns where websites will claim they are being throttled and anytime a consumer has a slow connection they will believe it’s caused by a website being limited. It will be impossible to prove, of course, so the ISPs will have no incentive to be transparent.

 

You think that being able to offer tiered-pricing will help ISPs innovate? Will they be able to install more broadband as a result? Absolutely not, instead they will focus on squeezing people who use the internet the most and who stand the most to lose from your “deregulation.” Then they will ratchet up the price for both consumers and services. They will not use the extra money to provide cheap internet to the poor. Those extra percentages will be paid out to the people who need it least.

 

Plus, you are the only Republican in the United States who is actively fighting against free speech. The only way to justify your position is to have a look at how much money the ISPs have given you over your career, because we all know that free speech can’t be free if it costs money.

 

Please don’t go through with this.

 

A concerned citizen,

 

– Tony Hymes
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