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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 18, 2008 at 11:29 AM

Internet regulation

Let it be

We agree that the next head of the Federal Communications Commission should be committed to maintaining the open Internet we all enjoy today [“Free and varied broadcast speech should be the goal of Obama’s FCC,” Editorial, Dec. 12].

I am writing to correct the claim that the current FCC opposes “the idea your Internet provider should not be allowed to bar you from sites it doesn’t want you to see.” Since August of 2005, the FCC has had Internet principles in place that plainly state that “consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice.” These principles have been enforced by the FCC and they have the broad support of the nation’s Internet service providers.

As this historic election has illustrated, an open Internet plays a vital role not only in our economy, but also in our democracy — inspiring unprecedented citizen engagement across the political spectrum. And all of this participation and discourse took place in the absence of new regulations.

Particularly in the current economic climate, new regulations would be devastating to the private capital investment that is bringing broadband into more communities and building up the capacity, speed and sophistication of these essential networks.

We enjoy an open Internet today where people are free to go to any legal site they so choose. We deserve a robust and innovative Internet tomorrow. Further regulation will harm, not help, this progress.

— Tom Amontree, Washington, D.C.

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