You might have noticed something unusual when you visited the EFF website today: our site was “blocked” unless you shelled out for “premium” Internet access.
As part of the day of action to support net neutrality, we decided to imagine what might happen if FCC Chairman Ajit Pai caves to industry pressure and abandons the net neutrality rules the FCC adopted just two years ago. If you don’t want to live in that future, it’s time to take action.
To make it easy for Team Internet to do just that, we’ve created a special site called DearFCC.org where we’ll help you write your own comment to the agency. We’ll offer some suggestions to get you started, but you can say whatever you like. What’s most important is that the FCC hears from you.
The fight over net neutrality isn’t just about consumer protection: it’s about your freedom of speech.
Some large ISPs say they support net neutrality, but that they just want the FCC to go enforce it under a different legal provision, or have Congress pass a specific net neutrality law. But this is just a trick—they already know that if the FCC goes back to classifying broadband as an information service, its net neutrality rules will fail (just like they did last time). They also know that Congress isn’t likely to pass a real net neutrality statute anytime soon, if ever, given the millions that telecom giants have invested in making sure they get to write any regulation of their industry.
Make no mistake: if we want to FCC to do its part to protect a free and open Internet—where Internet service providers don’t discriminate between different types of content or communications—we can’t let the agency go forward with its plan to abandon Title II (the legal foundation for today’s net neutrality rules). Competition between ISPs won’t guarantee net neutrality, especially when most of the country has only one option for broadband Internet access.
The fight over net neutrality isn’t just about consumer protection, though: it’s about your freedom of speech. What makes the Internet great is that anyone can use it to get their voice heard. Your message, your idea, or your story can reach millions of people, just as many people as large broadcasting companies can reach. If big ISPs win this fight, the next iteration of the Internet might look something more like cable TV, where providers have a great deal of influence over which messages their members hear—and they can deprioritize or even flat-out block content they don’t like.
If you love the Internet the way it is, then speak out now.