Activism Works for Net Neutrality, We Got It!

Big news today that affects pretty much everyone – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 in favor of Net Neutrality!

The FCC voted (along party lines) to reclassify Internet service as a public utility, because it’s become that essential to peoples’ lives. That means internet providers will have comply with standard rules on privacy, transparency and nondiscrimination. 

"Fast lanes will not divide the internet into haves and have-nots," said FCC Chair Tom Wheeler after the vote.

Internet providers can’t discriminate among users to make a profit – they can’t charge people more for "fast lanes" while slowing down others’ websites. The rules apply to providers of  "fixed" broadband services like Comcast and Verizon, and to  wireless carriers, such as Sprint and T-Mobile.

Net neutrality is about fairness – that all Web traffic must be treated equally – no speeding up, slowing down or other manipulations that favor some businesses over every one else.

Net Neutrality

The telecom industry and Republicans have fought hard against this, and plan to keep at it. First step: Drag FCC members into an oversight hearing to grill them on their "overreach" – their favorite catchall for anything they don’t agree with. 

"Soon we’ll see legislation designed to undermine the FCC’s new rules, attempts to defund the agency, and a new wave of Astroturf groups unleashed on the Hill and the airwaves," says Craig Aaron, CEO of Free Press.

President Obama, who firmly supported the move, says: "More than 4 million people wrote the FCC, overwhelmingly in support of a free and open Internet. Countless others spoke out on social media, petitioned their government, and stood up for what they believe.

I ran for office because I believe that nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change. That’s the backbone of our democracy – and you’ve proven this timeless principle is alive and well in our digital age."

Indeed, less than a year ago, the FCC wasn’t even considering this move. Activists really did make all the difference. We need to do the same on climate change, renewable energy and biodiversity.

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