THE BLOG

A Free and Open Internet for All

02/25/2015 10:11 pm ET | Updated Apr 27, 2015

On the eve of the Federal Communication Commission's historic vote on net neutrality, I join with other Mayors and millions of other Americans to urge Commissioners to support an open Internet for everyone.

In order for San Francisco and other U.S. cities to continue to grow, thrive and succeed, everyone needs equal access to the Internet -- access to the same high quality, fast speed data.

A combination of affordable technology and the birth of Internet innovations put the Internet into the hands of the people. And now, this high quality access has become a lifeline. It is an essential tool to communicate, look for a job, or learn about what your government is doing. A free Web also supports our economy and is helping our cities grow and create jobs.

San Francisco is a city of immigrants, and for many immigrants, the Internet provides a tool to connect to those possibly an entire world away. From Skype to WhatsApp and other video chat, technology reduces the distance for the lone immigrant, thousands of miles from home, to reach family every day. It's how grandparents keep up with their grandchildren who are growing up in another time zone and in another country. And of course, it's where millions of business meetings happen every day.

Net neutrality makes this all possible.

But now Internet freedom and transparency is in danger from a new kind of discrimination.

The years-long debate of net neutrality has come down to tomorrow's vote. Approving Title II means that no Internet service provider can charge more to get you the same content at the same speed as any other competitor. Net neutrality will ensure that San Francisco's diverse residents and businesses can stay connected to communication networks, online education tools and information resources without fear of speed bumps or -- even worse -- not being able to access information.

Developing a fair and open network creates space for startups and individuals from all walks of life to experiment as part of the new 21st Century economy. The Internet continues to evolve and innovators will continue innovating using the Internet to improve our lives for the better.

As the Mayor of San Francisco, I have been an early and vocal supporter of net neutrality, and I hope you will join me today in encouraging the FCC to approve Title II.