Today we’re joining internet users across the world to call on the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to abandon its plan to undermine net neutrality.
The Web Foundation has long campaigned for net neutrality principles as a cornerstone of the open web, and today our founder and web inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, sent a message outlining what’s at stake in this campaign to protect net neutrality in the US:
“If we lose net neutrality, we lose the open internet as we know it. What sort of a web do you want? Do you want a web where cable companies control the winners and losers online? Where they decide which opinions are read, which creative ideas succeed, which innovations manage to take off? That’s not the web I want.”
To join us in fighting for the future of the internet, send a message to US Congress and the FCC, telling them to preserve net neutrality protections.
This is a global issue, so even if you live outside the US, we’re counting on you to get the word out on Twitter.
Give me the context
When the FCC reclassified broadband as a Title II telecommunications service two years ago, it sent a clear signal that internet providers don’t get to call the shots on what content and applications succeed or fail online. Net neutrality means that internet service providers must treat all traffic equally and let users and creators decide what content thrives. Now, under a new administration, the FCC wants to roll back these protections.
What’s at stake?
Net neutrality not only ensures you can access the content you want, when you want it; it gives anyone with a connection a platform to have their voice heard, making the internet critical to free speech. Net neutrality also underpins innovation as our founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee argued in the Wall Street Journal recently, writing: “Net neutrality allowed me to invent the World Wide Web without having to ask anyone for permission or pay a fee”.
If the FCC reverses the 2015 rules, the open internet, along with free speech and permissionless innovation, will be at risk. We’ll face an internet where internet service providers can exercise their gatekeeping power to throttle the content of their competitors, give a leg up to wealthy companies, and block content they disagree with. This would end the internet as we know it.
What’s more, the rest of the world is watching. A decision to kill net neutrality in the US would send a message to other governments grappling with net neutrality issues — from Nigeria to India to Indonesia — that this is the new normal. This fight for net neutrality is a global fight.
What do we want?
It’s crucial that the FCC preserves broadband’s classification as a communication service. Before Title II was in place, cable companies were able to successfully undermine net neutrality principles. Title II is the only way we can lock-in enforceable net neutrality rules and preserve an open internet right now.
What can I do?
To join us in fighting for the internet’s future, send a message to the FCC and Congress and demand that they preserve the FCC’s current net neutrality protections, and the Title II classification that makes them enforceable.
Visit battleforthenet.com for more information on how you can get involved.