Net neutrality is the principle that the company that your Internet Service Provider does not get to control what you do on the Internet, and that an Internet user should be able to access all content and applications equally, without discrimination by the ISP.* This applies to everyone, including emergency first responders, teachers and students, city administrators, doctors and patients, and small businesses and their customers.
When the federal government eliminated net neutrality protections, California passed its own net neutrality legislation.
When California was sued by the federal government and the ISPs, the State submitted the following declarations, which provide a useful guide to why Internet connectivity is so important.
1. Santa Clara County Fire Chief Anthony Bowden – describes how Verizon throttled the Fire Department’s service while the Department was fighting a major fire.
2. Cogent Communications Founder and CEO Dave Schaeffer – describes how large ISPs throttle or disrupt delivery of content to the subscriber.
3. Santa Clara Chief Chief Operating Officer Miguel Marquez describing all the ways that Santa Clara uses Internet connectivity
4. San Francisco Mayor London Breed describing all the ways that San Francisco uses Internet connectivity.
5. Cruzio Internet founder and CEO Peggy Dolgenos – describes how her ISP practices net neutrality, and her concerns about the practices of the large ISPs
6. Former FCC Chief Technologist (and UC Irvine computer science professor) Scott Jordan – describes how ISPs block, throttle and discriminate between Internet traffic, and how they can (or can not) do this state by state or locality by locality.
7. Chief Advocate and General Counsel for Incompas (competitive carrier association) Angie Kronenberg explaining how interconnection and traffic exchange work on the broadband network that supports the Internet.
8. Declaration containing the Comments of the New York Attorney General about how major ISPs (like Charter/Spectrum) let their networks become congested and then used that congestion to extract extra payments from other carriers transporting content (like Netflix) to subscribers.
9. Philo streaming service CEO Andrew McColumm describing how the practices of large ISPs endanger his small independent streaming service.
10. Thomas Nakatani, head of IT for ADT Security, describing how net neutrality is essential for companies like his that use the Internet
11. Venture Capitalist Alexis Ohanian explains why a neutral Internet is crucial to innovative new start-up companies
12. Media Justice Executive Director Steven Renderos describes how a neutral network is essential for social justice work, education, remote work, and entrepreneurship