PO Box 2044
Durham, NC 27702
201 West Main St
Durham, NC 27701
July 15, 2014
In a public comment letter to the Federal Communications Commission regarding Proceeding 14-28, “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet,” Croatan Institute President Joshua Humphreys highlighted the importance of net neutrality for Internet companies and rural economies alike. Along with citing concerns over Internet Service Providers being able to charge higher rates for increased speeds or to pick which companies would be more successful, the letter focused on the effect such a decision would have in rural areas.
Humphreys writes, “We are actively working with numerous organizations in rural communities around the country, providing technical assistance and helping them to build more resilient communities through strategies of social entrepreneurship, sustainable development, and local wealth creation. Open Internet access is fundamental to the work we do with organizations in these rural settings. Many of these communities are only beginning to increase their use of the Internet to promote their businesses and to improve their livelihoods…The proposed rules would unfairly allow Internet providers to redline rural businesses, towns and customers altogether, while jeopardizing the ability of entrepreneurs and organizations in rural communities to use low-cost innovative online solutions to raise capital, through crowdfunding sites for example, to deliver telemedicine, and to connect local producers to wider sources of demand.”The letter concludes that the FCC should reclassify Internet service as a Title II telecommunications service.
To view the full comment on the FCC website, please visit http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017989974.
For more information about Croatan Institute’s work in rural communities, please visit the Resilient Community Development program page.
To contact Joshua Humphreys, send an email to josh[at]croataninstitute.org.