LETTER TO THE EDITOR by Board of Trustees, Charles County Public Library
Sep 21, 2018

Charles County Public Library would like to urge residents of the community to reach out to their congressional representative about net neutrality being absolutely critical for modern libraries. The Senate has voted 52-47 to pass bipartisan legislation under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block the FCC’s 2017 rule rollback. Please see the below paragraph from the American Library Association’s advocacy site.

“In December, the FCC voted to gut the net neutrality protections that limit the power of internet service providers — like Verizon and Comcast — to slow websites, block mobile apps, or in any way control the information we access. On June 11, 2018, the FCC’s net neutrality rules were repealed. Modern libraries rely on the internet to collect, create and disseminate essential online information and services to the public. They also ensure our users can access the internet and create and distribute their own digital content and applications. With the repeal of the FCC net neutrality rules, this essential service is now threatened. Today, remind your Representatives that libraries support net neutrality, and that the open internet is a vital platform for free speech and intellectual freedom. Ask them to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to pass a “resolution of disapproval” reversing the FCC’s vote.”

Communities are impacted by net neutrality:

• “Slowing” down of websites.

• Access to information could be limited or blocked.

Small Businesses are impacted by net neutrality:
• Possible extra costs if the internet service provider charged for the use of specific websites.

• Discoverability could be reduced.

Contact Information for Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-Md. 5th): 1705 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515; Phone: 202-225-4131; Fax: 202-225-4300; Email: https://hoyer.house.gov/email-Steny

Residents are also asked to contact their internet service provider to let them know that the community is watching and expects them to respect their commitments to not block, throttle or otherwise impair online activity. Ask them to put in writing the policies that will uphold this commitment.