As a new administration takes the reins in Washington, we at Public Knowledge have launched a renewed effort to promote freedom of expression on affordable communications platforms for all. We urge everyone to join this fight for the fundamentals of a truly democratic society, from the right to vote to the right to use all communications tools without fear of retaliation or interference from government or dominant corporate giants.
The essential tools of modern communications — fast broadband, wireless, cable TV, and basic telecom services — must be affordable to all, and if markets don't deliver that, we need a government that makes it happen. According to the Consumer Federation of America, about $50 out of our average monthly $200 bill for these services is inappropriate monopolistic overcharge. Either markets must be reformed to drive down these bloated fees through competition, or we need a government that intervenes to make essential communications affordable and available to all of us.
And it is every bit as important to challenge the monopolistic intellectual property practices in the electronics and entertainment industries. If the government can intervene to limit patent abuses that inflate drug prices, then surely it can apply similar logic to keep large corporate copyright and patent owners from abusing consumers' right to fair use of equipment and content they've purchased.
Just because a service is offered for “free” or provides great value doesn't mean we should have to give up our personal security and privacy to use it. We will continue to fight for consumers' rights to protect their most intimate personal data regardless of how desirable or cheap a particular product or service may be.
We are facing a challenging political climate that threatens fundamental consumer protections as well as a free and open internet. Public Knowledge has fought hard to ensure a creative and connected future for all Americans — one that secures regulatory safeguards, such as reliability of communications networks in an emergency. The Trump administration may jeopardize the Federal Communications Commission's ability to make networks more open, affordable, and available to all of us, and may risk the agency’s capability to maintain consumer rights and protections on the internet.
Please join us in the ongoing fight for fairness in the digital age. Whether it is consumers' pocketbooks or their fundamental right to speak without interference and participate in our democracy, we need your support and active commitment during a time of political change. Now, more than ever before, is a time to engage and provide the energy necessary to make a fair and just society that works for all of us.
President & CEO