Open Letter to Marsha Blackburn - Net Neutrality

The Honorable Marsha Blackburn 217 Cannon Building Washington, D.C. 20515

James Fryman 2633 Blair Park Circle Thompson's Station, TN, 37179

Dear Representative,

My name is James Fryman, and I am a voter of the 7th District currently residing in Thompson's Station, TN. I am an Information Technology professional with a focus on Computer and Network Security. I am writing you today in response to your vote and cosponsoring of H.J.RES 37 (Disapproving the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission with respect to regulating the Internet and broadband industry practices.)

I am concerned by your stance on the issue known today as 'Net Neutrality'. This debate is fundamentally not a debate about government regulation versus non-regulation as pointed out in your New York Times Interview [1]. This issue is firstly a matter of protection of freedom of speech, and secondly a matter of economics.

The rules enacted by the FCC are relatively simple, and are designed to protect the integrity of the Internet. These rules are (paraphrased) [2]:

  1. Transparency: Prohibit cable, fiber and DSL broadband companies from blocking websites;
  2. No Blocking: Allow users to use the software and devices of their choice; and
  3. No Unreasonable Discrimination: Require companies to be transparent if they use traffic-management software

These rules have been enacted to prevent the creation of a 'tiered Internet' via Quality of Service (QoS) network management techniques in the name of cost management. Companies that provide both content and infrastructure have economic incentive to throttle competing services on their network in contrast to their own service offering. (For example: Verizon Home Phone Service vs. Vonage or Comcast/NBC TV Shows (via Hulu) versus Netflix). [3] New companies will be unable to compete with quality services because efforts may be stifled by current market leaders. This will reduce innovation across the market.

Furthermore, companies aiming to protect their own interests versus keeping consumers educated and informed have already committed violations of free speech across the Internet. [4]

Failure to keep the current FCC regulations will...

  • cause harm to small businesses that will be unable to compete on pricing or speed from major telecom corporations;
  • hurt consumers, as the increased cost of ‘faster access’ will be passed on to us in the form of tariffs;
  • stifle freedom of speech for all users of the Internet.

An active community exists in support of net neutrality - one that I believe voters in your district (beyond myself) are a part of and are being ignored. One such example is SaveTheInternet.com [5]. I would ask that you review this data, review my statements, and modify your position and voting stance on this matter by considering current and future implications of what these measures will mean to consumers, and future economic growth in not only the 7th District, but all of Tennessee and ultimately these United States of America.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

Respectfully,

James Fryman james@frymanet.com twitter: @jfryman

CC: Marsha Blackburn (Cadence Bank Building 198 East Main St.Suite 1  Franklin, TN 37064), twitter: @jfryman, web: http://www.frymanet.com/2011/04/open-letter-to-marsha-blackburn-net-neutrality

Sources:

[1] http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/17/learning-to-defend-technological-freedom/

[2] http://www.scribd.com/doc/45757956/Net-Neutrality-Order-Snippets

[3] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9jHOn0EW8U

[4] http://netneutrality.koumbit.org/en/node/5

[5] http://http://www.savetheinternet.com/