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Why Net Neutrality Matters for Online Communities

For months now, there has been much discussion about the importance of net neutrality.

If you don’t consider yourself particularly tech-savvy, the current debate is on a proposal to create an Internet fast lane available for those willing to pay more to get their content to the public quicker. Those who won’t or can’t pay, will wind up in the slow lane with content that is less accessible to the public.

Who will be affected?

Those affected include individual content creators (bloggers, online artists, etc.), small businesses, nonprofits, and you.

You will be affected if you rely on the Internet for building and maintaining online community around what matters to you. Whether it’s generating awareness of a cause, building a business; or launching the next great idea, you stand to be affected. Moving people to take offline action will become incredibly difficult to impossible if you can’t even reach anyone in the first place.

Reaching people will force you to either pay up or pass on the cost to your intended audience – not a great way to build online community.

So what can you do?

The FCC is inviting public comment on the issue, so take advantage of the opportunity to share why you think net neutrality matters. Simply visit the FCC website, click on Proceeding 14-28, fill in your information, and let the FCC know you oppose Internet Fast Lanes.

You can also join Battle for the Net and sign their online petition or being connected via phone to your Congressperson.

Finally, you can tell your community and anyone else you know about the issue. Educate others and get them to join you in advocating for a free and open Internet for all. Here are some resources you can share:

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