Running a business is about to get more expensive…

…unless you don’t use the Internet for anything.  If you are running a business in this century, read on.

You know how you choose what speed you would like to connect to the Internet with?  The faster the connection, the more you pay.  When you create a Web site, you don’t need to worry about that because your Web host (the people you pay to put your site on the Internet) deals with their own Internet connection.

The current FCC rules concerning “Net Neutrality” allow businesses to run Web sites, write email, establish VPN connections, etc. equally with large corporations and residential users.

In a nutshell, Net Neutrality means all traffic on the Internet is neutral.  Comcast, Verizon, etc. are pushing the FCC to eliminate it.  Currently, all things being equal, your Web site loads at the same speed as any other site.  If the new FCC chairman is able to eliminate Net Neutrality, Comcast, Verizon, and all the rest will be able to charge YOU how fast your customers connect to your Web site.  It will NOT be cheap.

If you or your employees work from home, those VPN connections could slow to a crawl if you don’t pay more for that connection.  The same goes for email.  Emails could be delayed to your business account if you aren’t paying for faster incoming data rates.  The following is an email that Mozilla, the developer of the Firefox browser, sent out today:

Dear Fluid Physio IT Team,

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about net neutrality. Big things are happening in Washington right now, so let’s get caught up.

Yesterday afternoon, the Federal Communications Commission’s new Chairman Ajit Pai announced a proposal to gut net neutrality.

If you need a refresher on what net neutrality means, here is the John Oliver video that broke it down and then broke it out into the mainstream.

We’ve got a fight on our hands if we want to protect our ability to say, watch and make what we want online without interference from corporate interests. Without this basic principle, the Internet could break down into fast lanes for the rich and slow lanes for everyone else.

Two years ago, the Federal Communications Commission passed rules protecting net neutrality. A lot can change in two years. Now, net neutrality is threatened by that same agency. Chairman Pai is proposing to seek public comment on undoing the FCC’s 2015 order, including both net neutrality rules and the clear legal authority on which they relied. That proposal will be voted on at the FCC’s next meeting on May 18th.

This all means that we need to act immediately and rally the millions of voices who care about the Internet to remind Chairman Pai and the FCC it is their job to protect net neutrality. And when we say rally voices, we mean VOICES. We’re going old school in the battle to protect net neutrality. We’re fighting to save the Internet with voicemail!

Here’s what we need you to do:

1.    Pick up your phone.
2.    Dial (888) 534-6762.
3.    Wait for the beep.
4.    When you hear that beep, start talking. Tell Chairman Pai why net neutrality is important to you.*

Need a few reminders of how net neutrality makes the Internet better? Here you go:

•    For concerned Internet users: Net neutrality is fundamental to free speech. Without net neutrality, big companies could censor your voice and make it harder to speak up online. Net neutrality has been called the “First Amendment of the Internet.”
•    For web developers and small business owners: Net neutrality is fundamental to innovation. Without net neutrality, big Internet service providers can choose which services and content load quickly, and which move at a glacial pace. That means the big guys can afford to buy their way in, while the little guys don’t stand a chance.
•    For teachers and students: Net neutrality is fundamental to quality education. Without net neutrality, ISPs could block resources that compete with their own offerings, letting them choose the sources you can use for research, perhaps based on who is willing or able to pay an extra fee.
•    For people who love cat videos: Net neutrality is fundamental to a healthy Internet. Without net neutrality, ISPs could decide you watched too many cat videos in one day and throttle your Internet speeds leaving you behind on the latest Maru memes.

There are a million reasons why we must protect net neutrality. Record a voicemail and give Chairman Pai yours. We’ll deliver everyone’s messages straight to the FCC. We plan to play them in public in advance of their big meeting in May.

Thank you,

Mark Surman

P.S. Can’t get to a phone to leave a voicemail? Go to the FCC’s comment page to send a written message to FCC Chairman Pai.

* Mozilla will record your voice messages and send them in an audio file to the FCC. Messages left at this number for any other purpose will not be returned. Message content must comply with Mozilla’s Conditions of Use. Do not include personal information in your voice message.