We have one last chance to save free and open access to the internet.
Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission, chaired by Trump-appointed Ajit Pai, voted to repeal net neutrality rules that were formally put into place in 2015.
I know that this is wonky stuff, but here’s why these rules are so important: Right now, net neutrality rules make it illegal for your internet service provider like Comcast or Verizon to block or slow down access to certain websites. They also can’t make access to preferred websites faster than others – like pay-to-play carpool lanes. These rules make sure that everyone gets equal treatment – and those who have money and power can’t squeeze out those who don’t.
This is all about money. Giant internet companies want the power to block access, filter content, charge more – three powerful ways that they will pick the next round of America’s winners and losers and suck up billions of dollars. These giant companies have the champagne chilling, and they are ready to pop the corks.
But the fight isn’t over yet. Congress can still overturn the FCC’s decision – click here to sign the petition and tell Congress: all Americans deserve free and equal access to the internet. Don’t let the FCC gut net neutrality.
Net neutrality matters. For the startup founders working in Somerville around the clock on a shoestring budget to build an invention that can change the world, net neutrality matters. For the small family business in Lowell that depends on online customers to keep its lights on and its doors open, net neutrality matters. For the journalist in Springfield or the writer in Amherst who works each day to bring us important news about our communities, our government, and our world, net neutrality matters.
For every American who likes to stream movies or talk to family members in far-away places or use the internet for any reason, net neutrality matters.
Repealing the neutrality rules will have terrible consequences for the public interest. It’s just another move to put more money in the pockets of the rich at the expense of working people across the country.
This is not the way it should work in America. The internet doesn’t belong to big internet companies; it belongs to all of us, and all of us should be part of this fight.
I’m fighting my heart out in Washington to stop Chairman Pai and the FCC from repealing net neutrality, today and every day to come – but I can’t do it alone.