Oakland residents, we need your stories and experience to continue the fight to stop powerful Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from limiting your ability to choose the service that’s best for you.
If you live in Oakland and have had trouble acquiring service from the ISP of your choice, EFF wants to know.
Even in cities like Oakland where many residents ostensibly have a choice, thousands of renters are denied the power of that option.
For years, renters have been denied access to the Internet Service Provider of their choice as a result of pay-to-play schemes. These schemes―promoted by the corporations in control of the largest Internet Service Providers―allow powerful corporations to manipulate landlords into denying their tenants the ability to choose between providers who share their values, or have plans that provide the best service meeting a customer's needs and budget. This concern was only exacerbated when the FCC repealed the 2015 Open Internet Order. Chairman Pai and the FCC claimed that net neutrality protections were not necessary, as the free market would prevent exploitative practices by allowing customers to vote with their dollars. But with more than half the country only having one option of high-speed Internet Service Provider, this illusion of choice has never been based in reality. Even in cities like Oakland where many residents ostensibly have a choice, thousands of renters are denied the power of that option by real estate trusts and management firms that restrict access to their properties to any provider other than the one with the most enticing landlord incentives.
In January of 2017, San Francisco adopted critical protections to stop these exploitative practices. As a result, San Francisco residents enjoy better, more affordable options than many of their friends and coworkers in neighboring communities.
EFF, local residents, advocacy groups, and businesses have begun working with Oakland lawmakers to make sure that the city's renters can take advantage of these same protections. If you live in Oakland and have experienced difficulty acquiring Internet service from the provider that's best for you, your City Council representatives want to know.