UPDATE: Just hours before the California Public Utilities Commission was scheduled to vote on whether or not the powerful state regulator would support the FCC's deeply flawed net neutrality proposal, the item was removed from today's agenda. This is the second time a vote on this issue has been delayed by the CPUC. In anticipation of today's vote, the state regulator received over 3,000 emails from Californians demanding protection from discrimination by Internet providers and advocates planned to deliver a petition with 11,000 signatures to the CPUC at today's meeting. Although the FCC's official comment window has closed, the federal agency has not closed the docket and continues to accept input.

When it comes to the Internet, Californians are pioneers. There’s a reason EFF chose to make its home in San Francisco, and that so many path-breaking new technologies and businesses were born in this state. Tomorrow the state’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is scheduled to decide whether to do its part to protect those pioneers – and the next technologies and businesses being incubated right now in someone’s basement, dorm room, or lab – by supporting real net neutrality.

Specifically, the CPUC is debating whether to endorse the Federal Communication Commission’s proposed net neutrality rules. As we’ve explained, the FCC’s proposal is a bad idea that would not only do little to help protect the open Internet, it is likely to actually damage it by clearing the way for the creation of Internet “fast lanes.”

The CPUC is one of the nation’s largest and most influential utility regulators, and there’s little question that every telecommunications company is lobbying hard to convince the CPUC to come out in favor of the FCC rules.

But pay-for-play Internet isn’t a future we’ll accept. That’s why it’s we’re calling on our fellow Californians to make sure the CPUC knows that it must not back the FCC’s proposal to allow for ISPs to discriminate against how we access certain websites.

If the CPUC is serious about creating sound policy that truly reflects the needs of the educators, entrepreneurs, artists, families, and everyday people who rely on the Internet, the utilities commission will do the right thing and come out in favor of classifying the Internet as a telecommunications service at the FCC. Doing so would give the FCC the power to stop ISPs from unfairly impeding our access to parts of the Net.

But we aren’t sure that the CPUC is going to do the right thing here, especially given the pressure they are receiving from the telecom industry. So they need our help.

Californians have been the most vocal in the net neutrality debate at the national level. It’s time to make our voices heard here at home. Let’s make sure the CPUC understands what the Californians have been demanding all year: It's time to take real steps to protect the open Internet, beginning with reclassification.

The Internet is how we communicate with those we love; it’s how we learn and build our future. Please take action right now, before it’s too late.

Please note, this link will redirect you from the EFF website to an action by our friends at Media Alliance, a Bay Area based media justice organization.

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