DELIVER ON NET NEUTRALITY
More than seven months ago the White House announced nominees for the Federal Communications Commission. While Jessica Rosenworcel was confirmed in December 2021, the Senate has failed to confirm the final commissioner, Gigi Sohn, leaving the FCC kneecapped and unable to undo Ajit Pai’s harmful repeal of net neutrality and ensure everyone has access to the Internet. Time is running out. We need Sen. Schumer to call a vote to confirm Gigi Sohn, a highly qualified champion of net neutrality. Take action now: demand Sen. Schumer call for a vote to confirm Gigi Sohn to the FCC.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality is the principle that everyone should have access to websites and apps, preventing Internet providers like Comcast & Verizon from creating “fast lanes,” censoring content, throttling traffic and even outright blocking access to their competitor's products. This principle has guided the world wide web from the beginning, and has been protected by federal policy under Republican AND Democrat leadership since the early 2000s.
For a long time, Internet providers ignored this policy and did all they could to destroy net neutrality protections. Finally, after massive public outcry, the Obama FCC issued the Open Internet Order in 2015. But in 2017, Trump’s FCC Chair, Ajit Pai, repealed these regulations, putting Internet providers back in control of what we can and can’t access online.
Since then there have been a slew examples of how why we need net neutrality: Verizon throttled traffic for California firefighters during massive wildfires, putting people in danger; ISPs have decided to leave poor, rural, and communities of color behind by cutting them out of broadband expansion; and other Internet providers have charged bogus fees and forced customers to watch advertisements in order to get online. And as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the U.S., people were at the mercy of Internet companies to get online to work, go to school, and access lifesaving information. Repealing net neutrality has given Internet providers the power to decide whether we can get online or not.
Throughout all this we’ve kept fighting. A federal court ruling has opened up a path for net neutrality laws at the state and national level. California passed a gold-standard net neutrality law at the state level, the Senate passed a bipartisan resolution to undo the FCC’s repeal, and Congress introduced the Save the Internet Act that can enshrine net neutrality into law once and for all.
In order to win back net neutrality protections for everyone, we need to push the FCC to reinstate the Open Internet Order, and then we need to get Congress to pass legislation that will protect net neutrality once and for all. This is our battle.
The Path to Victory
- 2015 Obama FCC issued the Open Internet Order
- 2017 Trump’s FCC Chair, Ajit Pai, repealed these regulations
- Step 1:
Push Biden administration to appoint a champion for net neutrality as the fifth FCC commissioner
- Step 2:
Get Senate to confirm FCC nominees quickly
- Step 3:
Demand FCC reinstates net neutrality
- Step 4:
Pressure Congress to enshrine net neutrality into law