The Importance of an Open Internet

The FCC has opened a new inbox for open internet comments. Please send an email to the address below (just click on the link) or visit to post your comment into an official FCC proceeding. They need to hear from a representative sample of US citizens, not just those who can afford to lobby government officials.


The Importance of an Open Internet

As a scientist, a business person, and an American citizen, I firmly believe that the FCC should have the power to enforce strong Net Neutrality. By this I mean that no internet service provider in the United States should be allowed to discriminate what data travels across the network, at what speeds it travels across the network, or who can access that data.

As a scientist, the internet enables me to communicate and collaborate with colleagues across the globe – literally from Arkansas, Arizona, and Washington State to Brazil, Sydney, Hong Kong, and the Marshall islands. The opportunity for scientific advancement and interaction has never been so robust. Researchers from around the world can currently communicate and collaborate to solve the problems we face in our current world: from climate change to health problems like obesity and cancer – an open internet is vital to our future.

As a business person, the internet allows me the same access to customers and potential business opportunities as companies that spend millions of dollars on advertising. Even if only a few hundred people across the globe need or want my services, I can make a living – an important respite in this current economic climate. This access also allows “the next big idea” the opportunity to arise. How will the next Netflix, Facebook, or Tesla be able to revolutionize a market (or create a new one) if Blockbuster, MySpace, and GM have already bought the privilege from ISPs to have their own sites load more quickly?

As an American citizen, the internet allows me to read and view news and opinion from around the world, as events happen. A student sitting in a dorm room in 2011 was able to witness the Egyptian revolution via Twitter as it happened, and a business person sitting in an office was able to read updates from a campus shooting in Seattle last week. Sometimes it’s inspiring; sometimes it’s heartbreaking, but the internet allows me to witness, consider, and respond to both the good and the tragic events that people do in our world today.

The internet has quickly become a main means of communication, social interaction, and commerce for not only the American public, but also people around the world. The internet allows people across the globe to communicate with anyone else who has an internet connection. This not only provides an avenue for global commerce, but also for the spread – and generation – of democratic ideals and innovative ideas, news, commentary, and protest of civil and human rights violations

Please reclassify internet providers as Title II telecommunications, or whatever means necessary, to ensure that providers treat all data as data – without respect to where it comes from or what it contains – this is vital for the continued functioning of the most open avenue for communication, science, business, innovation, and freedom of speech the world has yet seen: the global internet.


-Russell Alleen-Willems

Archaeologist, humanist, citizen, and father.


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