The FCC has started the countdown
On December 14th, 2017 the GOP-majority Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to reverse 2015 regulations established to protect the net neutrality that allows all users have equal access to all internet content. It also prevents internet service providers (ISPs) from charging extra for high-speed access to specific websites or blocking access to certain sites altogether. 83% of the American people and 75% of Republicans support net neutrality.
The net neutrality repeal plan has finally been published in the Federal Register last Thursday, but that doesn’t mean net neutrality is officially dead—in fact, as open internet defenders quickly observed in response to the news, the fight to save the web from the Republican-controlled FCC is just beginning. If Pai’s rule is kept in place, net neutrality protections will begin to unravel April 23.
“Now it’s officially go time, and the internet is gearing up for a hell of a fight.”
—Evan Greer, Fight for the Future
Lawsuits have 10 days to challenge.
Opponents of Pai’s net neutrality repeal plan—which was approved in a party-line vote by the Republican-controlled FCC in December—will now also have 10 days to file lawsuits challenging the new rule.
Congress has 60 “legislative” days to stop this.
Fortunately, Congress has the opportunity to undo FCC Chair Ajit Pai’s deeply unpopular rule through the Congressional Review Act. The CRA allows Congress to reverse regulatory actions within 60 legislative days of their enactment. It is one Republican vote away from the simple majority needed to pass the Senate.
Individual states are challenging it too.
As Common Dreams has reported, state attorneys general and advocacy groups have been lining up since the FCC’s vote to sue the agency and restore the net neutrality protections that prevented massive telecom companies from discriminating against or blocking web content.
MOST: Since the FCC reversal of net neutrality, 22 states have introduced legislation to address the issue on the state level. https://www.fastcompany.com/40510095/snubbing-fcc-states-are-writing-their-own-net-neutrality-laws. So far, only a few of these bills have made it all the way through the legislature.
States now considering Net Neutrality legislation (freepress.net)
Municipalities are joining the fight too.
Last month, San Francisco announced that any private-sector applicant seeking a contract to build the city’s proposed fiber network must abide by the Obama FCC’s 2015 Net Neutrality rules.
In December, 68 mayors and county leaders signed on to a letter arguing that the FCC’s decision to gut the open-internet protections would widen the digital divide in cities while stifling economic growth.
Action #1 – Call your senators today!
Follow the money. Every one of the 265 members who voted for the to repeal a landmark FCC privacy rule were Republicans. And many of those same members endorsed the effort to end net neutrality.
If you have friends and relatives in Red districts, tell them that today is the day to call in.
Minimal script to senators: [IF DEMOCRAT OR SUSAN COLLINS]: I’m calling from [zip code] to thank [___] for their support of the Congressional Review Act to reverse the recent FCC decision to roll back net neutrality protections.
[IF REPUBLICAN]: I’m calling from [zip code] to express my strong disapproval of the FCC’s move to roll back the 2015 net neutrality protections. I ask that [SEN NAME] immediately work to use the Congressional Review Act to reverse this decision and preserve a free, open Internet that’s equally accessible to all.
Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Other Senator Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com
Action #2 – Send non-supporting legislators a message.
Click here to send your non-supportive legislator a message on how you’ll vote next time.
Action #3 – California State Actions
The CA Senate has approved SB460 and it’s now in the Assembly, where it’s just passed it’s 1st reading. In addition to preserving net neutrality protections, it also prohibits companies from using deceptive marketing “that misrepresent[s] the treatment of Internet traffic or content to its customers,” making it more difficult for ISPs to hide unfavorable changes from consumers. It also differs from executive orders in that it would force ISPs to follow net neutrality rules, regardless of whether or not the company has a government contract.
Minimal script to Assemblymembers: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Assemblymember [___] for their support of SB-460 Communications” Broadband Internet Access Service.
State Assemblymember Monique Limón: (CA-37): SAC (916) 319-2037, SB (805) 564-1649, VTA (805) 641-3700
Not your people?: findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.
Action #4 – Sign a petition to Jerry Brown
Sign a Change.org petition for Jerry Brown to pass an executive order to require ISP’s with California state contracts to abide by net neutrality principles.
Action #5 – Keep up with the latest news
Sign up for updates here. BattleForTheNet.com/OneMoreVote
Action #6 – Keep up with the latest news
Tweet to the FCC: https://twitter.com/FCC
- With Pai’s Net Neutrality Repeal Published, Internet Defenders Prepare for ‘Hell of a Fight'”. Net neutrality is not dead yet, but the clock is ticking for us to save it.” (common dreams)
- Tweet by FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn February 22, 2018
- The New York Times, “F.C.C. Watchdog Looks Into Changes That Benefited Sinclair,” February 15, 2018
- Fortune, “Americans Of All Stripes Strongly Want the FCC To Maintain Net Neutrality,” December 13, 2017
- Congressional Research Service, “Disapproval of Regulations by Congress: Procedure Under the Congressional Review Act,” October 10, 2001
- All of the Senate Democrates support net neutrality, bringing total to 50. (cnbc)
- “How Congress Can Save Net Neutrality: A Step-by-Step Breakdown,” Free Press Action Fund, Dec. 20, 2017: https://www.freepress.net/blog/2017/12/20/how-congress-can-save-net-neutrality-step-step-breakdown
- “Net Neutrality Gains Momentum as 50 Senators Support Resolution to Reject FCC Decision,” Jan. 16, 2018: https://www.freepress.net/press-release/108594/net-neutrality-gains-momentum-50-senators-support-resolution-reject-fcc
- “House Joins Opposition to Trump FCC’s Attempt to Gut Net Neutrality,” Jan. 16, 2018: https://www.freepress.net/press-release/108595/house-joins-opposition-trump-fccs-attempt-gut-net-neutrality