Net Neutrality: What Do We Do Now?

Net Neutrality is an important protection that keeps the internet free and open. Wait, quick correction: net neutrality WAS an important protection that kept the internet free and open.

After the FCC’s vote today, that protection is gone, and ISPs could already start to implement new fees and fee structures.That’s because the vote, spearheaded by Ajit Pai, reclassifies internet service providers as “information services,” instead of public utilities, and this reclassification would enable them to favor their own sites and to charge fees for access to rival sites.

But, like all things in government (and many things in life), this vote is not the end-all-be-all: there’s a way to reverse it. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress could issue a resolution of disapproval and overrule the FCC’s decision. But it’s not going to be easy — the CRA only provides Congress a 60 day window in which to act, and a resolution of disapproval needs either presidential support or backing from two-thirds of the House and Senate.

What this means is that we can, as individuals, act to make a difference in the fight for net neutrality, but we need to act QUICKLY.

Here’s what I suggest: Don’t just call your reps (that should be the obvious first step), call all of the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet Subcommittee, and urge them to issue a resolution of disapproval. These are the committees that oversee the FCC and would be the likeliest places for any legislative action overruling the FCC’s vote to originate. Do it! Do it today!

There are tools to make this easier, like PurplePatriot. PurplePatriot is a political engagement app designed to make it easier to get involved in politics. After the FCC’s vote today, they released a “Net Neutrality Call List,” conveniently listing all of the members of those congressional committees in an easy-to-call list. (You can follow this list by going to your profile, going to associations, and checking the box next to the “Net Neutrality Call List” association).

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Go to the ‘Net Neutrality’ red hot issue, and hit the megaphone to see the screen pictured above. If you don’t have time to call all of the committee members, at least tweet at them. PurplePatriot will auto-populate a tweet to them, making it very easy to go down the line and tweet to all of them. Here’s how easy it is:

I hope you take the step to become a more active citizen to help us get Net Neutrality back!

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