The Giant Telecoms like Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner and Verizon are going after net neutrality and they have the perfect weapon. The new chair of the FCC, Ajit Pai, is a former lawyer for Verizon and an opponent of net neutrality. He is moving quickly to turn the Internet over to the Telecoms by allowing them to control content.
“The FCC’s announcements today suggest they want to step back and allow concentrated players to pick winners and losers online.” – World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee in Politico
Protect Our Internet is a campaign of Popular Resistance. The mission of Protect Our Internet is to keep the Internet vibrant, free and equal.
In 2014, Popular Resistance was part of a mass movement of people and Internet businesses who worked together to push the FCC to put rules in place that reclassified the Internet as a common carrier. This means that all content is created equally and telecoms can’t limit access to content.
Think of what the Internet would become if the Giant Telecoms had this power – they would control which media messages would dominate, which businesses would have access to customers and what information would be available to searchers.
Reclassification of the Internet as a common carrier in 2015 gave the FCC the legal power to protect net neutrality from legal challenges by the Telecoms. It is protecting our freedom to use the Internet!
But ever since then, even though their profits are strong, the Telecoms have been continuing to challenge net neutrality through the courts and by lobbying Congress. Now the new chair of the FCC, Ajit Pai, has announced that he wants to take the classification of the Internet as a common carrier away by the end of this summer!
Just as we did in 2014-15, we are working in coalition with many Internet freedom groups to protect net neutrality. We are planning actions both online and in the streets. If you want to stay informed, click here to sign up for our email blast.
Net neutrality means that Internet Service Providers, like Verizon and Comcast, as well as the government regulating the Internet, should treat all content on the Internet the same without discrimination or charging differently by the user, content, website, or mode of communication. The open Internet with equal access for all is what has made the Internet an engine of creativity, an opportunity for free speech, a tool for entrepreneurs and a platform for economic growth and political dialogue.
The net neutrality rules put in place in 2015 and upheld by the courts ensure that everyone has equal access to the web. It means start-up companies can get online and be entrepreneurs who can create new products and services. It means alternatives to corporate-mass media can get their views out to the public so news is not limited to the commercial media. It allows people’s video of government abuse to get online just like big business-controlled television. It means the Internet will remain a vibrant and growing part of our culture and economy. It ensures that the Internet is a venue for Freedom of Speech in the 21st Century.
Our first task it to protect rules put in place in 2015 that treat the Internet as a common carrier. We won that battle because millions of people joined the campaign to protect the Internet, and we can do it again.
For more information on net neutrality and our campaign visit these pages.