|Tell AT&T, Sprint & Verizon to commit to Net Neutrality at upcoming shareholder meetings to keep the Internet free and fair for all of us|
Sign Elena's Petition
Elena Tchijov has built her life around cell phones. She depends on her smartphone to read the paper, check Facebook and get driving directions.
She even started a small business creating mobile apps like "Map Pocket", which lets you save maps onto your phone so you can see them when you don't have a wireless or data connection -- vital for traveling in areas with spotty reception. In her own words, "We are a small company trying to do big things."
But the success of Elena's company, and the freedom to use her phone as she wants, depends on big cell phone companies keeping the Internet free and fair. In shareholder meetings in April, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint may decide to give an unfair advantage to companies willing to pay big bucks by speeding up connections to paying companies' websites, while other sites like Leaping Byte's (as a scrappy small business) open slowly -- or not at all.
Right now, internet service providers maintain the same speed connections for all websites and apps by default. But in the next few weeks, shareholders of the big cell phone companies will vote on "Network Neutrality" resolutions -- official policies that would commit companies to keeping the Internet free and fair. Without these policies, nothing would keep internet providers from giving companies with deeper pockets preferential treatment, crippling small businesses like Elena's.
Up until the votes, shareholders will be hearing arguments from both sides -- including from company executives on why unequal internet could make shareholders rich. But if every AT&T, Verizon and Sprint customer tells his or her service provider to officially adopt Network Neutrality, the companies -- and their shareholders -- will have to listen.