Net Neutrality Was Struck Down Today. What’s Next?
Despite strong public opposition, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai went forward with his plan anyway. What can we do about it?
Here’s where we are today:
- There were 22M comments addressed to the FCC in favor of maintaining net neutrality protections.
- There were 700+ protests across the U.S. last Thursday in front of Verizon retail stores.
- And 83% of Americans oppose this plan, citing a poll from a nonpartisan organization at UMD.
Ajit Pai doesn’t care. He went forward with it anyway.
Can Congress do anything about this?
After you stop laughing, pick up the phone. You know the drill. Call your representatives: (202) 224-3121.
- Prompt #1 to connect to your U.S. Senator
- Prompt #2 to connect to your U.S. Representative
Congress has the power to step in and overrule the decision, but they need to issue a Resolution of Disapproval within 60 days.
Ed Markey, my Senator in Massachusetts, is the leading the charge, along with Representative Mike Doyle from Pennsylvania.
When you call your representatives, tell them to:
- Support Sen. Markey’s and Rep. Doyle’s “Resolution of Disapproval” and overrule the FCC’s horrible decision.
- Thank them if they have already been supporting Net Neutrality.
BONUS: While you’re there, ask them to oppose the GOP Tax Bill that will come up for a vote in the next week or two.
If you have friends and family in red states, please make an appeal to them to do the same.
Net Neutrality is an issue that affects all of us — not just Democrats.
What does an end to Net Neutrality mean for you?
Net Neutrality was the “law of the land” until this afternoon. Basically, it says that ISPs have to treat all Internet traffic equally. Now of course, we see ISPs break this from time to time — because let’s face it, Comcast sucks. But Net Neutrality regulations offers recourse against monopolistic ISPs who violate any of its principles.
Abolishing Net Neutrality (coupled with stacking the judiciary at all levels with lifetime appointments of arch-conservatives) gives these ISPs more room to control to: 1) the speed of traffic; and 2) the toll paid for that traffic.
- So for instance, is there a new startup disrupting an ossified business (such as telecom, for instance)? Not anymore! Throttle or block their traffic, and they are done for. Sure they can sue, but that’s where an ultra-conservative judge will likely back the interests of big business. Because Republicans are nothing if not predictable.
- Again for instance, suppose we want to stand up against Verizon, once Ajit Pai gets his guaranteed cushy job there in exchange for this gift to the telecom giants? No problem — Verizon will just filter those messages.
- Or when we stand up against the Republican Tax Scam, which is rocketing through Congress at unsafe speeds? Well, Verizon hired 97 lobbyists this year to make sure they get what they want out of this bill. Do you think that they won’t block or throttle these messages too?
Now sure, they might NOT do these things. Competition may keep them in check, but when does Comcast, Verizon, or AT&T ever do the right thing? These are some of America’s most hated companies. With good reason.
Why do we want to hand them the keys to the Internet? When the obvious thing here was to DO NOTHING. If anything, we should have been putting more controls on the worst offenders in this corrupt industry.
The answer is that we don’t. And despite raising our voices to loudly declare that NET NEUTRALITY IS OUR RIGHT AS CITIZENS, three telecom-Owned Republican ideologues ignored us and proceeded anyway.
This is an attack on consumers.
This is an attack on free speech.
This is an attack on small businesses.
There are a group of state attorneys general who issued an appeal to delay the vote yesterday, and now it appears that they are taking legal action.
Let’s keep the pressure on, folks. This is NOT what we want. As I said in my last piece on the GOP Tax Scam, We the People still have a voice. And we will be represented.