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Protect The Net

The Internet’s Net Neutrality Day of Action is Underway

Imagine. If. Your. Internet. Browser. Loaded. Content. At. This. Speed. Unless your preferred websites had previous agreements with your internet service provider (ISP)? What would it mean for America if ISPs could decide what content consumers should or should not see? Abandoning net neutrality would destroy the internet as we know it, and you should be very concerned.

When talking about the regulation of the railroad industry, President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Above all else, we must strive to keep the highways of commerce open to all on equal terms.” Today our highway of commerce is the internet, and President Roosevelt’s belief still rings true — we must have an internet that is open to all on equal terms. In February 2015, when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under President Obama first voted to classify the internet as a utility, I was among the strongest supporters of their efforts to implement and enforce net neutrality protections. This decision was important because it allowed the creation of clear rules and regulations to ban paid prioritization of content and services across all internet platforms — including mobile broadband, which makes up 63% of all usage.

Would it be right to prioritize access to clean drinking water only to certain customers who are willing and able to pay a higher price? What about electricity? In an age where the internet has become an indispensable tool of commerce, education, and entertainment, that answer is a resounding “NO.” Lack of access to reliable internet can compound economic inequality and limit access to quality education.

Sadly, President Trump is yet again standing on the side of big business when it comes to net neutrality. Since he was elected president, Donald Trump has moved swiftly to undue the progress we have made. He appointed Ajit Pai to head the FCC — a man who opposed and wants to replace Obama-era net neutrality protections, calling them “an intrusive example of government overreach.” Under President Trumps leadership, Pai has already begun the formal process to roll back net neutrality.

But we are not helpless, it is within our power to stand up and stop this attack on our right to a free and open internet. Today I join millions of Americans and over 80,000 websites including Google, Facebook, and Amazon in celebrating Net Neutrality Day and protesting online against the rollback of net neutrality rules. We need your voice now more than ever before.