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"Net neutrality" is a concept that is still unfamiliar to most Americans, but it keeps the Internet democratic. Major telecom companies are laying plans to create tiered access to the Internet and to charge extra fees to consumers and content providers to offer select Web sites for "fast access" by consumers. Without "Net neutrality," American consumers who want to pay for fast broadband access to the Internet will find out they don't actually have what they thought they were paying for. They won't have high-speed broadband access to the entire Internet, just the part that the phone and cable companies allow them to see.

One of the Internet's great strengths is that anyone, from a single blogger to huge corporations, can inexpensively create a Web page that is just as accessible to the world as Microsoft's home page. This democratic Internet is in danger if the companies that deliver Internet service change the rules so Web sites that pay them money would be easily accessible, while the little-guy sites would be harder to access and slower to navigate. That would be a financial windfall for Internet service providers but a disaster for users, who could find their Web browsing influenced by whichever sites paid their service provider the most money.

Congress must preserve a free and open Internet. Please write your congressmen and ask them to support legislation for enforceable network neutrality and keep tollbooths, gatekeepers and discrimination off my Internet.

Danny L. Daniels

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