Dear Mr. Pai,
While I hold no illusions that you will change your mind, I urge you to at least think about what the Internet means to people, not just corporations. The Internet is no longer a technical experiment or a mere commercial venture to sell goods and content. It is part of the fabric of our society, much in the same way highways, roads and utilities are important to our society and economy. Whether for good or bad, it is becoming more difficult to function in society without touching the Internet in some way.
Congressman Sensenbrenner’s statement that “No one has got to use the Internet [sic]” shows the disconnect that some have in terms of the Internet’s importance in our society. Students and many others rely upon it as part of their education. People apply for jobs, search for jobs, search for information about health issues. People use it to keep in touch with relatives and friends, and companies use it for communications and conducting business.
While larger companies such as Google and Facebook might be able to make deals with the ISPs to provide their services to their consumers, smaller Internet-based “shops” won’t have that sort of clout. While one could argue the effect of the “democratization of the Internet” there is irrefutable proof that someone such as myself can start an Internet based company without a large capital outlay.
Furthermore, let us not forget who built the Internet in the first place. The U.S. and other governments and their respective agencies and academic institutions; not Comcast, not Verizon. Sure, they’ve built some of the “last mile” plant to get the Internet to us but that’s the relatively easy part compared to all of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into building something so remarkable.
Classifying ISPs such as Comcast, Verizon, Cox, etc. under Title I would be akin to taking our public roads and highways back to a time before the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Aid_Road_Act_of_1916). Our economy grows by allowing EVERYONE to innovate, not just those who “own” the roads.