Did you know that your Internet provider may have started dictating “how much” of the Internet you may use? Leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as AT&T, have started a new, little publicized billing change that results in your usage being capped–in the form of fines, throttling, or denial of services--for exceeding your allotted usage.
As a user who supports a free and open Internet, I am more than willing to pay for the service. However, just as the DMV cannot dictate how many miles you can drive, neither should your ISP dictate how much Internet you can use. Worse, billions in taxpayer dollars have already been spent to lay America’s next-generation fiber optic lines, which were designed to provide ample broadband to all users--an enormous internet infrastructure which ISPs like AT&T refuse to use.
The Internet is about world-wide access to information, but information is of little use if we cannot obtain it with free and complete access. Having a capped Internet cannot help but hurt access to businesses and home users–particularly with today’s media bandwidth requirements growing by leaps and bounds. What is more, companies like AT&T count viewing Netflix as taking up your bandwidth allotment–whereas using AT&T’s new movie streaming service is not counted as an infraction. This is a clear violation of Net Neutrality, and at its very worse, another potential bottleneck for the freedom of information around the world. Who is AT&T and other ISPs to dictate how you use the Internet? Please sign our petition to ask AT&T to return to a model of billing without caps.
Data Capping as a form of Censorship -
I just signed the following petition addressed to: AT&T, Comcast, Suddenlink, Cox, Mediacom, Charter, Commspeed, Centurylink, the FCC, and other data-capping ISPs.
Dear Comcast/AT&T/Suddenlink/Cox/Charter/Centurylink, Commspeed/FCC,
Your recent decision to impose arbitrary bandwidth caps on your customers flies in the face of the service you were hired to provide. The model for internet service in the United States is that the customer pays a reasonable, set monthly fee for unlimited internet service. Other countries have spent billions trying to obtain the same level of access--an achievement that you’re now destroying in the United States of America.
Right now in Lithuania, people can subscribe to unlimited Internet service with much faster speeds than are available in the United States for $14.72 a month. By the end of 2012, every home in South Korea will receive blazing 1 gigabit per second transfer rates. You, however, are squandering billions in taxpayer's dollars given to you to build America's next-generation of broadband Internet access. Rather than improve your network, you have decided instead to penalize your customers, by placing a meaningless and austere limit on their freedom to information.
Not only is this a step backwards in today's modern world of communications, it is also antithetical to the service you have been entrusted to provide. It is your job to provide Internet access so that American commerce and ingenuity can grow in these harsh times, not to stifle American competiveness with your greed and apathy. As our ISP providers, we expect you to improve our quality of service, not the opposite.
The internet is too critical in modern day infrastructure for American business, political activism, and creative expression, to suffer from your tyrannical greed. You must immediately return to the model of a standard monthly fee for unlimited, unrestricted, high-quality Internet access.
David Smith started this petition with a single signature, and now has 4,718 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.