A Healthy Democracy Demands An Open Internet

A Healthy Democracy Demands An Open Internet

The health of our media is key to the health of our democracy. Traditionally, a vibrant local press was key to an informed electorate. But with newspaper reading and local TV news viewing in decline, the Internet is emerging as our 21st century public square, the place where voters inform themselves, advocates organize their constituents, and citizens debate the issues. Against that backdrop, it’s absolutely vital that we implement and enforce public interest communications policies.

Between the Comcast/TWC merger proposal, and the Open Internet (“net neutrality”) rulemaking, the Federal Communications Commission is poised to fundamentally reshape our informational ecosystem. With the right decisions, our media will be more local, diverse, and informative, and the Internet will remain a platform for the unfettered exchange of ideas and innovation.

Recently, Common Cause members and our allies gathered outside the Comcast shareholders’ meeting to demonstrate our opposition to further media monopolization. We delivered the signatures of more than 400,000 Americans, calling on regulators to stop the merger. Support for real public interest policies is building. It’s palpable. More than 3 million people already have raised their voices to tell the FCC not to create fast-lanes online. We’ve even rallied outside an FCC meeting to demand action.

We’re making a difference: the FCC has opened the door to real net neutrality, but we have to keep the pressure on them to get it right once and for all.

No matter your number 1 issue — combating big money in politics, protecting the right to vote, stopping global warming, or reducing economic inequality — a healthy informational ecosystem is crucial to informing the electorate and advancing change. It’s time to step up. Tell the FCC: no sham net neutrality.