On May 18, the FCC voted to begin a proceeding that will completely gut consumer protections for the open internet. Net neutrality refers to rules intended to ensure that broadband providers cannot block content or provide faster delivery to companies that pay more. There are three main components to net neutrality:
No blocking. A broadband provider can’t block lawful content, applications, services or non harmful devices.
No throttling. The FCC created a separate rule that prohibits broadband providers from slowing down specific applications or services, a practice known as throttling. More to the point, the FCC said providers cannot single out Internet traffic based on who sends it, where it’s going, what the content happens to be or whether that content competes with the provider’s business.
No paid prioritization. A broadband provider cannot accept fees for favored treatment. In short, the rules prohibit Internet fast lanes.
For more details about Net Neutrality, please see our Fact Sheet.
Don’t let Trump destroy the Internet — protect Net Neutrality. Here are three things that you can do:
1) Submit comments to the FCC directly. First go to the the listing for the “Restoring Internet Freedom” proposal. On the left are two buttons (see photo below). (If the link above doesn’t work for you, go here and type “17-108” in the top box. It should fill itself in and the result will be the same.)
If you just want to write a note explaining your views or answer of the many questions in the NPRM, click “Express” — this has fewer boxes to fill out and no option for attaching documents.
For most people the page will look like this:
Note that all this information will be publicly available, including your name and address!
That’s part of the deal if you want to take part in the process. It also helps keep repeat and fake submissions down. (They’ll probably throw away the ones signed “Mickey Mouse.”)
2) Call your members of Congress and tell them to stand up for net neutrality! See our Fact Sheet to read more about the positions of our MoCs. Here is a suggested dialogue with your MoC from Indivisible:
Caller: Good morning/afternoon! Can you let me know [Senator/Representative XXXX]’s position on FCC Chairman Pai’s proposal to get rid of net neutrality protections?
OPTION 1: OPPOSES PAI’S PLAN
Staffer: Thank you for calling! [Senator/Representative XXXX] supports Title II, the current open internet rules and opposes Chairman Pai’s proposal.
Caller: That’s great! Thank you. I’m pleased to hear that [Senator/Representative XXXX] supports true net neutrality protections for an open internet for everyone. If [Senator/Representative XXXX] is truly concerned about protecting his/her constituents, will s/he also issue a public statement about why this this proposal is a dangerous attempt to gut current net neutrality rules that will harm consumers, innovation, and free speech?
OPTION 2: SUPPORTS PAI’S PLAN
Staffer: Thank you for calling! [Senator/Representative XXXX] opposes Title II and supports the Chairman’s proposal.
Caller: That’s terrible. I’m disappointed that [Senator/Representative XXXX] would choose to look out for Comcast and Verizon rather than his/her constituents. This proposal would eliminate the critical protections for openness, transparency, and nondiscrimination that consumers currently enjoy, leaving them to the whims of Big Cable and ISP monopolies and their highest bidders.
Staffer: Of course the Senator /Representative supports net neutrality, but the current rules are overly burdensome and chill ISPs’ investment.
Caller: The FCC’s 2015 rules are light-touch rules that protect a free market and ensure everyone gets a seat at the table in the internet ecosystem. Americans overwhelmingly support them and the courts upheld them. Net neutrality is the law of the land, and the FCC should not be trying to hand control over to local monopolies like Comcast and Verizon.
Why does [Senator/Representative XXXX] side with corporations against constituents’ freedom and choice online?
OPTION 3: DODGES / HAS NO POSITION
Staffer: Thank you for calling! I have no idea what the FCC’s proposal is, but I’m happy to take down your concerns.
Caller: That’s disappointing to hear—this is a critical issue that was kicked off with the FCC vote May 18 and and will continue to develop throughout the summer. The proposal rolls back critical protections, allowing internet service providers such as Comcast and Verizon to make fast lanes and slow lanes on the internet, picking who can and can’t watch what, say what, and be heard. In 2015 the Federal Communications Commission put very sensible light-touch rules in place to help ensure net neutrality continues and internet access remains an open platform for discourse, engagement, and free market competition. The FCC received over 4 million comments from voters like me, the overwhelming majority supported the net neutrality rules. There is no good reason other than crony capitalism to gut the rules. Does [Senator/Representative XXXX] think it’s more important to listen to Comcast and Verizon than his/her own constituents?
Staffer: I didn’t know that but I’m happy to take down your concerns.
Caller: Here’s my concern: We need and deserve protections for the internet as we have come to know it. An open internet is the basic communications network for everyday life. It gives us access to innovative services online, free speech, education, a free market for starting businesses and creating jobs, community organizing, and civic engagement.
Will [Senator/Representative XXXX] publicly commit to protecting the current net neutrality rules and opposing Chairman Pai’s attempt to gut these consumer protections?
Staffer: I will certainly pass on your concerns to the Senator/Representative.
Caller: Please do, and please take down my contact information to let me know when the Senator/Representative has made up his/her mind. I’m eager to hear what he/she decides.
Senator Cory Gardner (R)
Fort Collins: (970) 484-3502
Senator Michael Bennet (D)
Fort Collins: (970) 224-2200
Rep Jared Polis (D), CD-2
Fort Collins: (970) 226-1239
Rep Ken Buck (R), CD-4
Greeley: (970) 702-2136
3) Participate in the Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality! Websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. We’ll provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your followers / visitors to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we’ve shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption. Now, we have to do it again! Save the date: July 12th, 2017!
Yours in Action!
volunteer citizens who are constituents of our Colorado Members of Congress.