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Free Press has conducted a thorough and philosophically sound study into the eternal “was this whole thing a good idea?” mystery of the internet — and our results may surprise you!

Take a look:

A handwritten "pros and cons" list weighing in on whether the internet is good or bad

Regardless of how each of us feels about the internet, we can all agree that companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon shouldn’t control what both Congress and the White House have recognized as an essential utility. But we’re all more vulnerable than ever thanks to a terrible decision the Trump FCC made. In 2017, the agency scrapped Net Neutrality and its legal foundation, Title II — ignoring the outcry from millions of people from across the political spectrum.

The message here is clear. While most of us don’t know how the internet works — I took a class on it in college and all I remember is what HTTP stands for — we all know it should be free, open and accessible to all.

Why does this matter?

This “Title II” you keep hearing about is part of the federal law governing telecommunications services — and it gives the FCC the authority it needs to conduct much-needed oversight. By ditching it all those years ago, the FCC walked away from its responsibility to protect the public against privacy violations, billing fraud, data throttling and all manner of shady ISP behaviors. This was unpopular then and remains so now, because obviously.

California has a strong Net Neutrality law in place that’s been the lone bulwark against ISPs’ worst impulses, hindering these companies’ ability to destroy the internet’s level playing field. But state-by-state regulation of the internet isn’t enough. We need strong federal protections in place … and now we have the chance to make that happen.

Why (and how) we need the FCC to bring back Net Neutrality

After 960 days of a deadlocked agency, we finally got a full five-member Federal Communications Commission when the Senate voted to confirm Anna Gomez to serve as a commissioner. For the first time since President Biden took office, the FCC can get to work on reinstating Net Neutrality and Title II. If it does this, we will once again have strong rules protecting free expression online and safeguarding against ISP abuses.

Of course, companies like Comcast and their zillions of lobbyists are going to do everything they can to stop the agency from taking action. Here’s the thing: ISPs don’t get to speak for us. Urge the FCC to bring back Net Neutrality and restore its Title II authority.

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