Congress and States Still Can Save the Open Internet
The Federal Communications Commission repealed net neutrality laws in December, but the fight for net neutrality is not over.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is one of many organizations that are pushing back against Donald Trump’s FCC.
On Monday, EFF sent the following email to supporters of digital freedom:
We’ve got one more shot to stop the FCC’s efforts to roll back net neutrality.
Yesterday, the FCC published the order it voted on in December that rolls back the protections that help keep the Internet open and free. Net neutrality—the principal that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet equally and not block, throttle, or charge extra or access to it—has been vital to growth of the Internet. The vast majority of Americans support net neutrality as its death only benefits companies like Comcast and AT&T. With the FCC’s just-published order, net neutrality is no longer the law.
But just because the FCC has issued an order doesn’t mean that the telecom corporations have won. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can overrule any regulation issued by a government agency with a simple majority. Once the new rule is published in the federal register and the FCC submits a report to the House and Senate, Congress has a limited period of time to act. So let’s make sure they do.
Ask Congress to stand up for the Internet and overrule the FCC’s order and restore Open Internet Order. This is about the future of the Internet as we know it, so let’s make sure Congress treats it that way. Please contact your Member of Congress and tell them to use the Congressional Review Act to save net neutrality.
In California, the Courage Campaign is waging a similar battle, urging the California state Legislature to restore net neutrality. On Sunday, the progressive advocacy group sent the following email to its 1.4 million members:
Last month, Donald Trump’s FCC repealed federal net neutrality laws. But if you thought the fight for net neutrality was over, think again! The California legislature is preparing new legislation that would protect net neutrality in the nation’s most populous state.
If net neutrality protections pass in California, we’ll be a model for other states, and make it harder for Comcast, Verizon, and other big telecom companies to justify anti-consumer schemes that violate net neutrality elsewhere in the country.
The telecom industry will fight California’s net neutrality legislation with everything it’s got. That’s why we need you, and thousands others like you, to speak up now to defend the open Internet.
States like California will play a huge role in protecting the open Internet in 2018. California legislators like President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon and Senator Scott Wiener know that Californians rely on a fair, free, and open Internet to remain a hub of business innovation, cutting-edge political organizing, and free expression.
Washington, New York, and California have all introduced state-level net neutrality legislation in the aftermath of the FCC’s decision to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules that treat the Internet like a public utility.
Trump’s FCC commissioners have tried to protect their friends in Big Telecom by forbidding states from passing their own net neutrality rules. But California legislators are seeking to thread the needle by forcing telecom companies to agree to net neutrality rules as a condition of accessing utility poles, which are owned by the state.
We know that telecom companies, and even the federal government, will fight California’s net neutrality laws in court—and we’ll be ready when they try. With allies around the country, Courage Campaign is committed to fighting for an open Internet from Washington, DC to Sacramento—and we won’t give up until we’ve won. Will you stand with us to defend the open Internet from Big Telecom and the Trump administration?
If you care about a free internet, now is the time to act.