eBay CEO Meg Whitman could potentially be an influential voice in the Net Neutrality debate. In addition to heading one of the most prominent Internet companies, she also is a well-known Republican.
She recently sent an email message to many eBay users. The mail went out in stages, starting earlier this week, and is still sent out. Here it is:
As you know, I almost never reach out to you personally with a request to get involved in a debate in the U.S. Congress. However, today I feel I must.
Right now, the telephone and cable companies in control of Internet access are trying to use their enormous political muscle to dramatically change the Internet. It might be hard to believe, but lawmakers in Washington are seriously debating whether consumers should be free to use the Internet as they want in the future.
The phone and cable companies now control more than 95% of all Internet access. These large corporations are spending millions of dollars to promote legislation that would divide the Internet into a two-tiered system.
The top tier would be a “Pay-to-Play” high-speed toll-road restricted to only the largest companies that can afford to pay high fees for preferential access to the Net.
The bottom tier – the slow lane – would be what is left for everyone else. If the fast lane is the information “super-highway,” the slow lane will operate more like a dirt road.
Today's Internet is an incredible open marketplace for goods, services, information and ideas. We can't give that up. A two lane system will restrict innovation because start-ups and small companies – the companies that can't afford the high fees – will be unable to succeed, and we'll lose out on the jobs, creativity and inspiration that come with them.
The power belongs with Internet users, not the big phone and cable companies. Let's use that power to send as many messages as possible to our elected officials in Washington. Please join me by clicking here right now to send a message to your representatives in Congress before it is too late. You can make the difference.
Thank you for reading this note. I hope you'll make your voice heard today.
President and CEO
from PK, we say, Good for you Meg. Keep it up, and make sure that members of Congress and the Senate hear your voice as well.