3 great things & 3 takeaways from the Open Internet announcement

Posted by Todd O'Boyle on February 5, 2015

Open Internet

By now, you've heard the news: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced its Open Internet ("net neutrality") rules. The FCC is poised to vote the strongest possible net neutrality protections into law.

This is the real deal, with 3 huge public interest victories:

1. Protecting free speech

No blocking, i.e.) online free speech. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may not censor your access to lawful websites and services. So you can see, and say, what you want online.

2.   No “paid prioritization.”

Forget about fast lanes for the deep pocketed few that can afford them. ISP gatekeepers won't be allowed to speed up access for corporate media outlets while consigning your favorite independent blog to the slow lane.

3.   Mobile benefits too

Previously, cellular customers had few, if any, Open Internet guarantees. Now you'll be protected whether you access the Internet via dialup, cable modem, or LTE.

As former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Adviser Michael Copps said, yesterday was a "banner day." You can read more about the rules here.

And here's three things worth keeping in mind going forward:

1. We're not done yet

The actual FCC vote occurs on February 26th, and Big Cable and Big Telecom have until then to unleash their legions of lobbyists. They'll visit every office on Capitol Hill, and practically beat down the door of the FCC -- all to water down these strong rules. We can let that happen.

2. Congress is still a thing.

Senator Thune, one of the industry's greatest friends on Capitol Hill, is pushing a bad bill that would gut the FCC's ability to protect consumers. Surprise, surprise he lambasted yesterday's great pro-consumer, pro-democracy developments as "bullying" and a "power grab."

3. You did this.

Your grassroots activism - calling Congress, writing the FCC, rallying, and sounding the alarm on social media - were a big reason for this victory. Just ask FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

But we can't let Comcast and its friends in Congress derail this historic victory. Take action today.

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Media and Democracy

Tags: Broadband for All

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