14 Jul

Dear FCC,

I’m Kimberly Trathen and I live in Thomas, WV.

Net neutrality, the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) treat all data that travels over their networks equally, is important to me because without it ISPs could have too much power to determine my Internet experience by providing better access to some services but not others.

A pay-­to-play Internet worries me because new, innovative services that can’t afford expensive fees for better service will be less likely to succeed.

The Internet is vital to my business (backstitched design) as a small-scale leather craftswoman. Small online market places—like Etsy—are absolutely essential to selling my handmade products and reaching a wider audience. 

Etsy is set up to encourage and promote handmade and small-scale creative paths and businesses. They make it extremely affordable for a small-scale creative business to get started and grow by charging a nominal fee of $0.20 to list an item and 3.5% of every sale. This is much lower than other e-commerce platforms. They use this money to create a site that is both visually appealing and very easy to use for both the seller and the buyer. One way in which they do this is through the visual representations of our art and products. The photographs of my products, AND THE SPEED IN WHICH THEY LOAD, are the backbone of selling my work, and sustaining my business. If a consumer were to click on my Etsy shop and perceive delays in images loading or videos buffering, they would most likely click away to another site, and I would lose that sale.

Since Etsy is a low margin business they wouldn’t be able to pay for priority access to ensure their site loaded as quickly as rival sites if the FCC’s proposed rules went into effect. 

This is so wrong! Etsy is helping millions of people, like me, realize their dream of running a small independent creative business, and this ruling would not make their affordable platform possible anymore. It would kill thousands of creative business ventures (in which 88% are woman-run, and who together sold over $1.35 billion worth of goods last year) by increasing the cost of the Internet, something which was created by us for us. Please do not let this happen. It would be an ugly start to the decline of small independent online American businesses.



No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.