Today, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unveiled its plan to end net neutrality. The proposed plan would reverse rules passed in 2015 requiring that internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon treat all internet traffic equally. The 2015 rules, now under threat, underpin enforceable net neutrality, preventing ISPs from arbitrarily slowing down, or even blocking, internet traffic. The FCC is scheduled to vote on this plan at its December 14th meeting.
Current net neutrality protections are working and are supported by almost 80 percent of Americans who want to preserve them, including 73 percent of Republicans.
Responding to the announcement, Web Foundation President & CEO Adrian Lovett said:
“Most Americans, regardless of their political views, support net neutrality. The FCC is pushing forward to remove safeguards, giving an early Christmas present to big broadband companies and putting at risk the free and open internet we all need. Congress has the power to stop this. Now is the time for citizens to call their representatives and ask them to act.”
Our Founding Director, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, has been actively calling for the protection of net neutrality in order to safeguard online innovation and internet freedom. As Sir Tim has argued:
“When I invented the web, I didn’t have to ask anyone for permission, and neither did America’s successful internet entrepreneurs when they started their businesses. To reach its full potential, the internet must remain a permissionless space for creativity, innovation and free expression.”
Sir Tim and the Web Foundation support the collective efforts underway to help save the internet. It is a critical time now to call on US representatives and urge them to stop the FCC from scrapping net neutrality protections.