Thank you for taking action to tell the FCC: We want net neutrality protections restored!
The comment period on the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is now closed. They will review comments before drafting a final rule. You may continue to send comments to Congress here, and we will collect and submit them to the FCC if comments open again. We will keep this page updated as the process continues.
Joint Action Participants
What is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality is the fairly simple idea that internet service providers (Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, etc.) should treat all the data that travels over their networks equally, and not discriminate in favor of particular apps, sites or services. Net neutrality prevents ISPs from creating “fast lanes,” censoring content, throttling traffic and even outright blocking access to their competitor’s products. This principle recognizes that Internet access is an essential resource of modern life, and has guided the world wide web from the beginning. It has been protected by federal policy under Republican AND Democrat leadership since the early 2000s.
Prefer watching to reading? Here’s a curated playlist of video explainers:
What is going on with Net Neutrality?
The Obama FCC issued the Open Internet Order in 2015, establishing net neutrality protections, but it was repealed in 2017 by Trump’s FCC Chair, Ajit Pai. This move put corporate gatekeepers back in control of what we can and can’t access online. When the Biden FCC became fully staffed in 2023, Chair Jessica Rosenworcel immediately announced plans to restore net neutrality protections. The FCC has filed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and is currently seeking comment on the proposed rule.
Why do we need Net Neutrality?
Despite the telecom-backed myth that there weren’t any consequences to the 2017 repeal of net neutrality, the reality is that there is a greater need for these protections than ever before. ISPs have made it clear that unless these rules are in place, they will do what’s best for their bottom line even when it puts people in danger – like in 2018 when Verizon throttled traffic for California firefighters during massive wildfires. ISPs have also excluded poor, rural, and communities of color from broadband expansion, and 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.
How can Net Neutrality help rein in Big Tech?
Without net neutrality, it’s only a matter of time before telecom giants like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile start cutting deals with companies like Google (YouTube), Spotify, and Instagram to prioritize their services or exempt them from arbitrary data caps. That will only entrench the monopoly power of these giants, making it nearly impossible for new or alternative platforms to succeed, and leaving us all at the mercy of these few, powerful companies.
Why do artists and creators care about Net Neutrality?
Artists know that if Big Telecom giants squeeze access fees from Big Tech companies, these monopolies will put corporate profits before struggling artists, and force artists to cover those costs. And smaller, more independent platforms that actually cater to artists’ needs could shut down entirely. Fees like this are so high in South Korea that Twitch is shutting down there because it became too expensive to operate. Now more than ever, artists and creative workers need new indie outlets and platforms, and net neutrality will help build those alternative options.
What’s happening now?
Throughout all this we’ve kept fighting. We helped California pass a gold-standard net neutrality law at the state level, pushed the Senate to pass a bipartisan resolution to undo the FCC’s repeal, and got Congress to introduce the Save the Internet Act that can enshrine net neutrality into law once and for all.
Right now, the FCC has launched the process to reinstate the Open Internet Order, which will bring back Title II net neutrality protections. Throughout this process we’ll ensure you have the opportunity to submit comments and share your thoughts, and we’ll have to fight against the oppositional attacks from Big Telecom companies to make sure the FCC follows through and doesn’t give in to corporate pressures