Join the Battle for Net Neutrality
The open Internet has fostered unprecedented creativity, innovation and access to knowledge and to other kinds of social, economic, cultural, and political opportunities across the globe. Not only startups, and innovation, but our very democracy relies on a free, fair, and open internet. Every day, journalists, voters and activists rely on Net Neutrality protections to communicate online. The open Internet is endangered by powerful service providers seeking to become gatekeepers who decide how users can access parts of the Internet, and the FCC officially unveiled its plans to support those corporate interests last week.
The time has come to fight.
Who is pushing for the dismantlement of Net Neutrality?
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Tennessee Republican, was chosen as the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, which has oversight of the FCC, as well as all matters related to cable, wireless, and broadband networks. AT&T and Verizon have been Blackburn’s second and third largest donors, pouring $75,750 and $72,650 into her campaigns, respectively, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. She has also received $66,000 from the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, an industry lobby group, and $49,500 from Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai formerly served Associate General Counsel for Verizon, and has sided with his former employer on every meaningful issue that has crossed his desk.
Congress recently voted to allow ISPs to sell customer data (mobile GPS data, browsing data, etc.) without your permission. The only people who supported this (and the only people in favor of dismantling Net Neutrality) are the people who are going to make lots of money from it. (Hint: they work for companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T.) Incidentally, these people and their companies routinely give lots of money to members of Congress. Here is a list of the lawmakers who voted to betray you, and how much money they received from the telecom industry in their most recent election cycle.
What can you do to fight corporate interests and protect a free and open internet?
Thankfully, hope is not lost. Americans of all walks of life, in bipartisan fashion, have stood up and protected Net Neutrality once before. In 2015 the FCC and the telecom industry’s friends in congress attempted to dismantle Net Neutrality. American citizens submitted 4 million comments to the FCC, sent 10 million e-mails to congress, logged 500,000 calls to the FCC and Congress, petitioned the President for support, shared 20 million social media posts, and organized 100 on the ground protests at Comcast, the FCC and the White House.
To read and comment on the FCC proposal, you can do so by following these instructions. This kind of input is important.
To call your representatives, follow this link.
To file an official consumer complaint with the FCC, follow this link.
To contact FCC Chairman Ajit Pai directly, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
To mail a physical letter to the FCC, send it to the following address:
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St, SW
Washington, DC 20554
Stand up for Net Neutrality at a town hall, using this map to find a location near you.
The battle to save Net Neutrality is far from over, and history gives us a blueprint we can use to win this battle. The future of a free and open internet is in the your hands. Corporate interests are spending millions to destroy the open internet, and they’re counting on your apathy. Prove them wrong. Fight.