Grassroots Efforts to Save Net Neutrality May be Working
By Marguerite Reardon / cnet.com

Concerned Internet users want to make sure that the FCC and Congress hear them when it comes to keeping the Internet open and free.

Digital-rights advocacy group Free Press, other groups such as MoveOn.org, and mobile operator CREDO, which also has a social activist arm, have organized protests and phone and online campaigns to get the attention of regulators and elected officials in Washington, D.C.

In the latest move to draw attention to the issue, Free Press is organizing a public protest at 9 a.m. ET Thursday outside the Federal Communications Commission's headquarters in D.C., to coincide with the commission's open meeting where a new proposal to reinstate the FCC's Net neutrality rules will be considered. Hundreds of protesters are expected to show up to the rally and join the dozens of activists who have been taking turns since May 7 camping out in front of the FCC.

The protest will also continue online where the public is encouraged to contact congressional representatives and the FCC to support the adoption of strong Net neutrality rules.

"People realize what is at stake now. And they don't want the Internet turning into Comcast."
Becky Bond, political director, CREDO

It seems like the efforts thus far have had an effect as lawmakers, tech companies, and even fellow FCC commissioners have questioned FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal for reinstating Open Internet rules. On Monday, an FCC official confirmed that the chairman began circulating a revised proposal, which will be considered at Thursday's meeting. The Wall Street Journal was the first to reporton the chairman's revised proposal.

But activists say more needs to be done to ensure the Internet is protected.

"Chairman Wheeler is feeling the grassroots pressure against his pay-for-prioritization proposal," Free Press CEO Craig Aaron said in the announcement for Thursday's protest. "He needs to abandon the flimsy and failed legal approach of his predecessors and reclassify Internet service providers as the common carriers they are. If preventing fast and slow lanes on the Internet is the goal, reclassification is the way forward."

What happened to Net neutrality?

In January, the FCC lost a court battle against Verizon in which its 2010 Open Internet rules were thrown out due to a legal technicality. Last month, Wheeler began circulating a proposal he had come up with to reinstate the rules. This proposal, the details of which have not been released publicly, created a public backlash as digital activists expressed concern that it didn't go far enough in protecting the Internet.

Specifically, instead of reclassifying broadband traffic as a public utility, which would give the FCC authority to regulate the Internet as a "common carrier," the FCC chairman decided to take a different legal tack that critics say not only necessitates weaker rules but will also fail in court.

The most controversial item that resulted from this approach is the notion that broadband providers could be allowed to create paid prioritization services. These services would allow broadband providers to charge Internet content companies, such a Google or Netflix, a fee for priority access on broadband networks to ensure that their traffic would arrive at its destination more quickly than traffic that has not been prioritized. This so-called "fast lane" raised the ire of activists concerned that smaller content companies would be priced out of the market and that it could raise prices for consumers.

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
The Myth of Positivity: Why Your Pain Holds a Mighty Purpose
umair haque · 14,284 views today · Of all the great myths of contemporary life, one of the most toxic is positivity. It says: there are negative and positive emotions, and only the positive ones are worth...
Stunning Summary of US Imperialism and Native Resistance... on MSNBC!
4 min · 11,578 views today · On The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, Lawrence explains why a protest by Native Americans in North Dakota reminds us of the history American always tries to forget.
Standing Rock Wisdom: How Sacred, Nonviolent Activism Has the Power to Succeed
Charles Eisenstein · 7,879 views today · I am told by Native American friends active at Standing Rock that the elders are counseling the Water Protectors to undertake each action prayerfully and to stay off the...
Veterans at Standing Rock Ask Forgiveness for War Crimes Against Tribal Nations
Jen Hayden · 5,577 views today · Jon Eagle Sr., Tribal Historic Preservation Officer at Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has reported something wholly unexpected happened at the Standing Rock Reservation today. The...
Why People Cling to Old Beliefs
1 min · 4,755 views today · Cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist at McGill University, Daniel Levitin, explains why people can be so stubborn when it comes to false beliefs. This behavior is...
Seven Must-Have Skills for the 21st Century
Tommy Lehe · 4,289 views today · We live in a world that moves faster than we do. Trying to keep up can be an overwhelming task that at times feels hopeless, like we are falling further and further behind—but...
Solar is Already Producing More Energy Than Oil, Says Major Scientific Review
Nafeez Ahmed · 3,472 views today · And is twice as powerful than previously thought
The Other Way of Knowing
Lilian Na’ia Alessa · 3,287 views today · Western science and Indigenous worldviews are often seen as incompatible, with the Indigenous view usually being far less valued by society at large. But an inside look at...
DREAM: A Spoken Word Meditation For When Life Is Kicking Your Ass
4 min · 2,903 views today · If life is kicking your ass and the general un-coolness of everybody on planet erf is making you want to off yourself, TALK to someone: 800-273-8255 (national suicide...
13 Crises That We All Must Face
George Monbiot · 2,888 views today · We face (at least) 13 major crises, some of which are immediate. It’s time for some hard thinking about how we confront them.
Forget Air Force One, Pentagon Wastes Billions and Billions Every Month
Nadia Prupis · 2,492 views today · President-elect Donald Trump's focus on single Boeing contract ignores enormous waste of bloated Pentagon budget
Dear Activists, Maybe It's Time to Admit That We've Got It All Wrong
Mickey Z. · 2,167 views today · “The first step in the revolution is eye contact.” - Alicen Grey
Andy Goes In - Working Undercover in a Factory Farm
10 min · 2,019 views today · He's a $10/hr farmhand, and his name isn't Andy. Andy Goes In is a compelling 10-minute documentary short about a Mercy For Animals undercover investigator. The vast majority...
How a White Supremacist Became a Civil Rights Activist
Araz Hachadourian · 1,983 views today · The story of a KKK leader’s transformation shows us that we need not live forever with the kind of violence we saw in Charleston this month.
15 Films Inspiring and Illuminating the 'New Story' Revolution
Tim Hjersted · 1,917 views today · Charles Eisenstein is one of the first people I heard talk about the "new story," synthesizing a diverse movement that has been emerging for the last several decades. When I go...
Sky Roosevelt-Morris: The Secret of Indigenous Resiliency
2 min · 1,461 views today · Activist Sky Roosevelt-Morris is of the Shawnee and White Mountain Apache Nations. She is a member of the Leadership Council of the American Indian Movement of Colorado. In...
Sean Carroll - The Meaning of Life
7 min · 1,364 views today · The world keeps happening in accordance with its rules; it's up to us to make sense of it and give it value. Sean Carroll Music: Moby - God Moving Over the Face of the Waters
Satish Kumar on "What Is a Sacred Place?"
3 min · 1,285 views today · Satish Kumar brings a Hindu, Buddhist and Jain perspective to the definition of "sacred place." We found his explanation so compelling that we edited a three-minute piece...
Amanda Abbington Introduces iAnimal - 42 Days in the Life of Chickens
4 min · 1,187 views today · Shot undercover in British factory farms and slaughterhouses, this immersive 360° video gives you a birds-eye view of what happens to chicken from farm to plate.
Embracing 'Radical Hope' in Our Fight to Save the Earth
Paul Hoggett · 1,012 views today · Radical hope is not just about determination and courage in the face of darkness, writes Paul Hoggett - it is also about love and a re-finding of all that is benign in the...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Grassroots Efforts to Save Net Neutrality May be Working