Today, in a 3-2 vote directly opposing Net Neutrality, the FCC decided to propose a ruling to allow corporations to buy their way into an internet “fast lane”. The fight’s not over yet though, and many gathered outside the FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C. to voice their opposition. One of the protesters, Sandra Fulton of the ACLU, refers to her opposition as “..one of the largest free speech fights in the 21st century.”
While the last time the FCC proposed and failed to gain approval for new Net Neutrality rules in 2010, there’s no guarantee it’ll happen again. Many now look to President Barack Obama to step in, having pledged himself to a free and open internet during his candidacy.
No one sleeps in the street to save a couple dollars on Netflix. No one turns out to an obscure government agency at 9:00 in the morning for faster Angry Birds. But when our fundamental rights to speak, to organize, and to fight for a better future are threatened we will turn out. And we won’t give up until we win. -Demand Progress’s Nathan White
A free and open Internet is an important 21st-century civil rights issue. Black communities know the devastating impact of having our voices shut out by corporations. The Internet is a forum where we can speak, access information, and organize without a corporate filter. […]We cannot allow rules that would create a fast lane for wealthy corporations while relegating the rest of us to a second-class Internet. It’s past time to reclassify the Internet as the public utility that it is. - Rashid Robinson from Color of Change
While the FCC tries to tell the public that the new “fast lane” does not imply a slow lane, the threat is inherent. AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and others have all been inching their way towards the destruction of the open internet through blocking law abiding content or providing free access to sponsored content. But there’s still time to turn this around and keep the internet autonomous, it’s an excellent time to find and contact your state officials and let them know your stance. Find your elected official’s information here and shoot them an email, letter, or even a fax.