Verizon wants you to know that they're only trying to kill net neutrality so that they can help the blind, deaf, and disabled, because net neutrality actually hurts them because it doesn't allow fast lanes. Yes, you read that right. Net neutrality is bad for the disabled.
Three Hill sources tell Mother Jones that Verizon lobbyists have cited the needs of blind, deaf, and disabled people to try to convince congressional staffers and their bosses to get on board with the fast lane idea. But groups representing disabled Americans, including the National Association of the Deaf, the National Federation of the Blind, and the American Association of People with Disabilities are not advocating for this plan. Mark Perriello, the president and CEO of the AAPD, says that this is the "first time" he has heard "these specific talking points."Of course, Verizon could address the needs of the blind, deaf, and disabled by making sure that their internet service for everyone operates at highest speeds. But that would eat into the bottom line, so don't hold your breath on that happening. Or, they could spend a little less on lobbying and a little more on service. Check out this chart on lobbying on net neutrality by interested groups:
There's no doubt that blind and deaf people, who use special online services to communicate, need access to zippy Internet. Similarly, smartphone-based medical devices that are popular with disabled people require fast Internet service. Telecom industry lobbyists have argued that, without a fast lane, disabled Americans could get stuck with subpar service as Internet traffic increases. AAPD's Perriello says this rationale could be genuine but seems "convenient."
If you haven't already, send your comments supporting net neutrality. You can use the FCC comments page; the inbox they set up specifically for this issue, email@example.com; and with Daily Kos's petition.