Save the Internet

15 May 2014

The FCC is considering allowing the Internet to have multiple “tiers,” ostensibly to allow traffic to be prioritized based on its relative “importance.” With this type of capability, Internet Service Providers could make sure that Internet traffic that is driving a “tele-surgery” gets handled at a higher priority than the traffic for a YouTube video.

In theory, a “tiered Internet” sounds like a “good thing,” and I doubt that there is a large group of people that would object to prioritizing “realtime life-critical” Internet traffic over YouTube videos. Unfortunately, this modification to the rules would allow for incredible unintended consequences that puts control of the Internet medium into the hands of a select few large organizations, and away from individuals and small businesses.

For example, consider having to pay an extra fee to your Internet Service Provider so that you could connect to amazon.com. There have been numerous attempts to cause alterations in the fundamental way that the Internet works, and to subvert your free access to this basic human right.

The efforts to control or alter the Internet are ongoing, and numerous attempts have already failed. We must remain vigilant in the defense of the Internet, and continue to be engaged in the process with our government officials and rule-makers.

The FCC is holding a session today to discuss these issues, and if you have not yet sent them a message in support for a free and open Internet, please do so at this email address: openinternet@fcc.gov

Below is my letter to them.


To Whom it May Concern:

As a Software Engineer and Entrepreneur with more than 15 years experience building and publishing content to the web, it is critical to me that the Internet continue to operate in a fashion that allows continued innovation and open access to information.

The basic model of the Internet over the last 20 years has allowed unprecedented advancements in every aspect of our lives. This open model has paved the way for improvements in efficiency in all forms of business, throughout the world, and opened new markets for economic growth and social advances.

I vehemently oppose any rules (and laws) which would create multi-tiered access to the Internet. Such rules would create a fractured (and therefore less potent) Internet, and reduce opportunities for those that are not as well-capitalized as large businesses and governments, effectively allowing those entities to control the medium on which our society relies for its educational, cultural, and economic growth.

I am happy to share additional thoughts and experiences, and you may reach me via email, or phone at [redacted].

Thank you for your time and consideration on this critical issue,

//Andrew Theken


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