Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to roll back net neutrality protections in the US. In a 3-2 vote, FCC commissioners approved a proposal — first revealed in full detail last month — that repeals 2015 rules and reverses over a decade of work by the FCC to fight net neutrality violations. This move breaks with the country’s historical tradition of bipartisan support for a free and open internet and supporting innovation online.
Our Founder and web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee said:
“This is a dark day for the internet. By rolling back net neutrality rules, the FCC has cleared the path towards a dramatic overturn of how the internet works in the US. Rather than preserving the internet as a free market for ideas, the FCC has given a handful of companies the power to decide what lives and dies online – ignoring the millions of Americans who called for the protection of net neutrality. Now is not the time to accept defeat. We must explore all judicial and political options in order to save the free and open internet.”
Adrian Lovett, our President & CEO added:
“The FCC has taken a giant leap backward. Net neutrality is critical to ensure innovation, free speech and access to information online. By voting to remove protections, the FCC has compromised these freedoms for everyone. While the fight to block this decision goes on in the US, other countries around the world must uphold the values of the open internet. India stood firm on net neutrality principles last month and others should do the same. In the face of diminished US leadership, the rest of the world must step up and stay strong.”
This is not the end of the fight in the US. Congress has the ability to call for a repeal of the FCC’s decision as well as to bring forward legislation to protect net neutrality. Today’s vote will also face a number of legal challenges which are expected to play out throughout 2018.
The Web Foundation will watch developments in the US closely as we continue to fight to protect net neutrality all over the world.