For those of you who may not know it, the internet was created by We The People of the United States. Our tax dollars funded the research and development of the internet through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (D.A.R.P.A.). One of the core principles in creating the internet is “Net Neutrality”. Simply put; Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) and governments should treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.
Multinational communication companies like Comcast, Verizon, and ATT are trying to change that. They want to take ownership and control over something that was created by you and me. They want to monopolize the internet just like cable TV where you have less than 5 companies controlling the entire market. They want to turn the internet into something that resembles cable television where you have to pay more for premium channels and where individuals and small businesses are denied access and bandwidth and are relegated to the fringes of cyberspace. They will be able to dictate what content you can have access to. And to add insult to injury, these same companies who want to control the internet do not want to provide you with the access to reliable and high speed service. Instead of investing in the most modern high speed network available they want to suck every dollar they can out of you and give it to their shareholders and CEO’s. The United States doesn’t even rank in the top 10 in the world when it comes to delivering access to high speed internet. And this is from the country that invented the internet.
We believe the internet should be part of the Commons like our roads and our bridges and our libraries. We believe that State governments should build the most modern high speed interest available and provide safe, reliable, and affordable service to all of it’s citizens and businesses. An internet which provides equal access from the largest multinational corporations to the smallest mom and pop businesses. The internet is one of the greatest inventions of our lifetimes. It provides you with access to people, ideas, and knowledge from all over the world. It’s full potential has yet to be realized. Why would we turn one of our greatest assets over to private corporations whose only interest is in profit. Talk about stifling innovation. Our public internet would be administered by a semi autonomous governmental agency whose power shall be limited and specific. For example;
1. Net Neutrality shall be one of the irrevocable doctrines of this initiative.
2. They shall be required to keep all personal data confidential unless provided with a subpoena.
3. Float a bond to acquire and build the most technologically advance internet network available.
4. The internet shall be not for profit. One of their primary missions will be to provide individuals and schools with the most inexpensive service possible.
5. Enlist the most knowledgable cyber security team to safeguard the system.
6. Board of directors would be both appointed and elected.
This is a brief overview of the initiative we are working on. Once we have the final text we will post the measure for review and comment before setting out to gather the necessary signatures. Long term, once we pass this initiative in California we will use it as a boilerplate which can be modified for use on other state ballots. Donations and volunteers are needed! If you are interested please sign up below.