FCC Votes to Restore Net Neutrality

Statements of Former FCC Chair Michael Copps & Ishan Mehta Common Cause Media and Democracy Program Director

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to restore Net Neutrality. The move restores the FCC’s authority under Title II of the Communications Act to oversee broadband providers and enforce the open-internet protections. The Open Internet Order was repealed during the Trump Administration in the face of widespread public opposition – including comments filed during the proceedings opposing the controversial reversal by the agency.

Common Cause, along with its partners, delivered a petition with over 126,000 signatures, thanking the Commissioners for their vote today, showing the continued widespread public support for Net Neutrality.

Statement of Michael Copps, Former FCC Chair and Common Cause Special Adviser

If I weren’t out of the country today, I would be personally at the FCC jumping up and down, saluting the majority for reinstituting the network neutrality rules that were so foolishly eliminated by the previous Commission. I have been personally and deeply involved in the battle for an open internet for more than 20 years, both as a Commissioner and more recently as a public interest advocate. Today’s action brings back moderate rules that have already passed court muster and are essential building blocks for a consumer-friendly and citizen-friendly internet. Congratulations to Chair Rosenworcel, Commissioner Starks, and Commissioner Gomez for getting us here today.

Our communications technologies are evolving so swiftly, affecting so many important aspects of our individual lives, that they must be available to all of us on a non-discriminatory basis. And they must advance the public interest, protecting consumers, fostering competition, and providing us all the news and information we need as we fight to maintain our democracy. We still have much to do; but today, let’s celebrate a huge step forward.

Statement of Ishan Mehta, Common Cause Media and Democracy Program Director

The restoration of Net Neutrality is a victory for every American household, and it is a victory for democracy. Today’s vote returns control of the Internet to the American people instead of corporate interests. The Internet is crucial to civic engagement in the United States today. It functions as a virtual public square where social justice movements organize and garner support.

Since the repeal of Net Neutrality during the Trump Administration broadband access has been unregulated and consumers have been left at the mercy of Internet providers. Americans have seen those providers throttle popular video streaming services, offer service plans that favor their own services over competitors, and degrade video quality in order extract higher prices for improved quality.

This Internet today is an essential public utility and in recent years, service providers proved themselves incapable of delivering that service without supervision.

The FCC’s vote today returns the Internet to the American people.