Hi Mr. Latta,
I’m a 24-year-old go-getter from New York, living in Los Angeles, and I want to have my own TV show someday. Only, I don’t want it to be on TV. I want it to be online, so that I can have control over its content, which is something a television network can’t really allow.
Ambitious, I know. But can you blame me? Ever since I was 10 years old, I’ve had access to some sort of Internet. And ever since I was 10, I’ve known my future would be made by this strange new tool. It was clear that open access to my peers and beyond would do a much better job at making this weird kid successful than the tools we had laying around when I was born.
Bob, I don’t like government regulation either. I help run a very ambitious small business, in California of all places. I can’t think of a more overregulated place than Los Angeles county for a business trying to make its mark. The permits, the licenses, the fees we clearly can’t afford as a new enterprise. And the mandated LCD recycling fees? It’s beyond absurd.
But there is one thing I fear more than the authorities of Los Angeles county, and it’s the telecommunications companies that control our Internet infrastructure. I and my business are both mandated to use Time Warner Cable as our service provider of choice. Why? Because each town and city is relegated to a government-allowed monopoly of Internet service, and that’s bad enough.
But you know what’s worse? That government-allowed monopoly being allowed by the government to charge my blog and my website and my 9-year-old YouTube channel a premium to reach my viewers. I’m 24 years old and as broke as you’d expect. How do you suspect I’d make my way to my viewers without a special interest investment under the lack of regulation your bill encourages?
Bob— can I call you Bob? We are more similar than we are different. I may be a struggling Los Angeles youth, but government regulation has added more burden to my life than anything else has in the past 2 years. I am by no means a liberal democrat. I’m just a kid trying to make it, and I hope you understand that by pushing to refute the reclassification of Internet as a Title 2 service, you are directly threatening my future, and the future of literally millions of my peers.
Don’t believe me? Go to YouTube, and look at the most viewed videos of the day. How many of those content creators could have afforded a fast lane?
Bob, the right thing to do almost never comes from the same place as the money that funds you. I won’t purport to know who paid you what, even though I could look it up if I wanted to. That’s accusatory, and I don’t intend to fight with you. I just hope that you and your staff understand the massive impact that this bill will have on our nation’s youth, its future, and its impact on the world as formidable creators of the Internet we all share.
Please do the right thing, Representative Latta. We are watching, and we expect you to do what’s best for our nation. Thanks for your time.