Protect net neutrality. Neutrality on the internet is the only way to allow democratic participation in communication, education, employment, community and public service, and access to health, safety and other information.

Do not allow a few corporations to rule the internet, to censor what we see, to charge higher fees and deliver less.

None of the internet service providers invented or developed the internet and the web.

U.S. taxpayers paid for its early development. The defense and research network called ARPANET was online from 1969 into 1989. That became the internet. Research, development and expansion was courtesy of government — taxpayer — funding.

The world wide web arrived in 1991, courtesy of Tim Berners-Lee in particular. Berners-Lee, often while working at CERN (a European particle physics laboratory) in Switzerland, designed a global hypertext database with each data package having a universal and unique identifier, and this on a network he called the world wide web. He made the web available on the internet in 1991.

Berners-Lee, a Brit, championed web openness to the point of not filing for intellectual property rights, not taking royalties and not selling his invention. He gave the web to the public. He gave us net neutrality!

Do not give this global public resource to a few corporations no matter how much they "donated" to politicians and no matter how much they spend in advertising and hiring trolls to promote their greedy objective.

Of course, the ISPs want to charge the public — you and me — more and deliver less. But the service is already lousy.

The United States ranks 47th in the world in mobile internet speed. While the U.S. ranks higher in fixed broadband speed, our nation is not among top nations globally, according to Speedtest.

Montana ranks among the states with the slowest internet speeds. That is when and where a person can even get online in Montana.

The internet should be regulated as the public utility it has become.

But first, protect net neutrality. 

Don’t let the Federal Communications Commission give corporations the power to censor what you see by determining access and access speeds by how much you can pay. You and I cannot afford to pay what corporations and the 1 percent can pay. We will suffer if we lose net neutrality.

One brave FCC commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel, asks you to fight for net neutrality. Now. See her plea in the Los Angeles Times.

Please write to the commissioners today. Their names and email addresses are:

• Ajit Pai, chairman: Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov.

• Mignon Clyburn, commissioner: Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov.

• Michael O'Rielly, commissioner: Mike.O'Rielly@fcc.gov.

• Brendan Carr, commissioner: Brendan.Carr@fcc.gov.

• Jessica Rosenworcel, commissioner: Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov.

Fight for what we have.

Anne Millbrooke of Bozeman has a doctorate degree in history and specializes in the history of science and technology. 

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