The following comes from the FreePress Action Fund-
President-elect Barack Obama has committed billions of dollars to rebuilding America’s crumbling information infrastructure. It’s a bold part of his economic stimulus plan that will revitalize our economy and our democracy.1
But as Obama’s plan moves through Congress, it’s come under siege by phone and cable lobbyists seeking to turn our economic stimulus into their blank check — written out to corporations like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon with no strings attached.2
Only a public outcry will ensure that public tax dollars go to serving the public interest.
Free Press has a five-point plan3 to ensure that any public investment actually serves the public interest. Our plan makes crystal clear that any taxpayer money should support broadband that is:
- Universal: focused on connecting the nearly half of the country stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide.
- Open: committed to free speech and without corporate gatekeepers, filters or discrimination.
- Affordable: providing faster speeds at lower prices.
- Innovative: dedicated to new projects only and available to new competitors, including municipalities and nonprofits.
- Accountable: open to public scrutiny so we can ensure that our money isn’t being spent to prop up stock prices and support market monopolies.
Building better broadband cannot be another corporate bailout. It must be a buildout for better democracy.
Connecting everyone will give more Americans a voice in government, better educate our children,4 revitalize rural economies, and bring hundreds of thousands of new job opportunities to those who need them most.
Greedy phone and cable companies have squandered America’s global Internet leadership — overcharging consumers, throttling content, stifling innovation and dropping us from fifth to 22nd place in world broadband adoption.5
With the economic stimulus package on the fast track in Congress, our plan needs your support right now.
It’s time we changed business as usual in Washington. Help jump-start the economy and restore accountability and openness to America’s communications policy by acting today.
Free Press Action Fund
1. “Obama’s Democracy Stimulus,” Timothy Karr, InternetforEveryone.org.
3. “Down Payment on Our Digital Future,” S. Derek Turner, Free Press.
5. International Telecommunications Union.
Building better broadband cannot be another corporate bailout. It must be a buildout for better democracy. Only a public outcry will ensure that public tax dollars go to serving the public interest.
Please go to the URL below to check out what’s at stake and send a message directly to your member of Congress urging them to protect the public interest. Take action now at: