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Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has repealed federal net neutrality rules, allowing corporations like Verizon and Comcast to charge websites for higher speeds, prioritize their own content, and shove disfavored websites into a slow lane. If allowed to stand, this action will likely transform many people's internet into a corporate-heavy, top-down experience that marginalizes creativity, diversity, and popular resistance to abuse of power.

There are many ways to undo this disaster. Congress can act, and we should all be pressuring them to act. At the local level, communities can form broadband collectives, which can be democratically controlled and can institute net neutrality. State and local governments can sue the FCC in court, or consider defying the federal law and refusing to cooperate with the FCC's outrageous claim to preempt state or local laws.

Of all these approaches, one of the most promising is for states to use the power they have as clients of internet providers. State and local governments can contract for services exclusively with companies that respect net neutrality, using their purchasing power to influence corporate decisions.

State and local governments can also, and now must, become much bigger internet providers. The state of Ohio and local governments can provide free, public internet service, including Wi-Fi in public places, as well as service to homes and businesses. When they do so, they can work only with companies that follow net neutrality.

Ohio’s legislature needs to work quickly to make this happen.

These changes will make net neutrality more secure than it was before, by bringing control of it to more local levels of government. This will mean that as technology changes, people will be better able to make it work for them, not against them.

Paid for by Cassimir Svigelj for Ohio
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