Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Whose Spectrum? Our Spectrum!

FreePress is jumping on the Court of Appeals ruling blocking the FCC from regulating internet providers. There's a form at where you can write to the Commission and demand an open internet.

Dear Commissioners:

The magnetic spectrum and the electrons, protons and other subatomic particles comprising it, cannot be patented, owned, proprietized, privatized, or corporatized. They cannot be removed from the Commons. These waves and particles and the natural forces and properties that govern them, exist, have existed, and will exist in nature. The spectrum, like the airwaves, exists in nature without human input.

This is why we have public utilities for electricity and water. These natural resources cannot be co-opted from public ownership and usage or otherwise taken from the Commons. They are natural resources commonly owned and used by everybody.

Can the water in the world and the processes of evaporation and precipitation be owned or patented by a corporation, to the exclusion of everybody else?

Can sunlight and the process of photosynthesis be owned?

What about the sun itself?

If a law drafted by the FCC is deficient in describing the reality of public--not private--ownership of these phenomena, then change that law.

The FCC must reclassify broadband as a "telecommunications service" so that Federal regulators can keep the Internet open and free of corporate gatekeepers and pirates.

Without vital Net Neutrality protections and the ability to enforce them, the internet ceases to be a public platform for free speech, equal opportunity, economic growth and innovation. Instead, companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, which have a commercial incentive to limit the free-flowing Web, will decide whose voices are heard.

This miswritten regulation effectively hands ownership of the people's internet to a couple of non-human, corporate behemoths. The fingerprints of Kevin Martin are all over this ineffectual regulatory wording.

You have the power to protect the public interest and quickly rectify this deficiency in Federal regulations.

Keep the Internet in the hands of the people, who are its true owners and proprietary users.

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