WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, organizations representing millions of people in the United States will deliver a letter calling on Sen. Mitch McConnell to allow the Save the Internet Act to move forward in the Senate.
Even before the House passed a companion bill in April, Sen. McConnell said it would be “dead on arrival in the Senate.” The legislation would restore the Net Neutrality safeguards and Title II framework the Trump FCC abandoned in December 2017.
The letter and list of signers appear below:
Dear Majority Leader McConnell:
In April, the House of Representatives passed the Save the Internet Act (H.R.1644) with bipartisan support. This critical bill restores net neutrality and broadband competition protections for all Americans, ensuring that rural and underserved communities gain access to the internet and that big cable companies are not able to control what people do, see, and say online.
We the undersigned 103 organizations urge you to listen to the American public and to immediately bring the Save the Internet Act (S.682) to a vote in the Senate.
Today marks one year since the FCC made the unpopular decision to officially kill net neutrality and broadband protections for the American people. On the one-year anniversary of the end of the Open Internet Order, we encourage the Senate to join your House colleagues in implementing the will of your constituents — 4 in 5 of whom support net neutrality, including 77% of Republicans, according to recent polling.
Since the repeal of the Open Internet Order by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), millions of Americans have been fighting to protect an open and accessible internet and calling on Congress to restore vital protections for universal communications rights, small business innovation, and free speech online.
In the year since the FCC took away the 2015 Open Internet Order, we have seen some very troubling and dangerous activities by big cable and telephone companies:
- Verizon slowed down the Santa Clara Fire Department’s data in the midst of one of the worst wildfires in California history;
- The largest U.S. telecom companies were caught slowing streaming speeds to popular applications like YouTube and Netflix;
- Centurylink blocked internet access to force customers to view specific ads;
- AT&T gave preference to its own video services by not having its video data count against customers’ monthly data caps; and
- Sprint has been accused of interfering with Skype, which provides an alternative to wireless carriers’ voice, video, or messaging services.
Despite empty rhetoric by open internet opponents, the 2015 Open Internet Order did not harm broadband investment from 2015–2017, nor are broadband investment, deployment, or speed increasing since the FCC’s repeal.
While advocates seek redress in court to overturn the FCC’s disastrous repeal, Senate passage of the Save the Internet Act will reaffirm Congress’ intent and support for broadband users’ rights. Passing this bill would help reestablish important net neutrality protections while the court case challenging the FCC’s net neutrality repeal proceeds through months, or even years, of additional appeals. Like the House, the Senate should pass this bill without any harmful amendments designed to water down, weaken, or fatally wound it.
Senator McConnell, we call on you to enact the will of hundreds of millions of people who support open-internet protections and broadband competition, and the millions who have taken action demanding them, by allowing Senators to vote on the Save the Internet Act.
Americans want and deserve enforceable protections that preserve net neutrality, ensure stronger broadband competition, and improve access. They don’t want big cable and phone companies controlling what they see, say, and do online. They want more choices and more affordable internet access service.
The Save the Internet Act is the best chance to restore real net neutrality and an open and accessible internet for everyone in America. We urge the Senate to move forward on this important bill that will restore strong open-internet protections.
Alliance for Community Media
American Alliance of Museums
American Association of Law Libraries
American Family Voices
American Library Association
Americans for the Arts
Arts & Democracy
Association of Art Museum Directors
Association of Performing Arts Professionals
Association of Research Libraries
California Clean Money Campaign
California League of Conservation Voters
Cascade Educational Broadcast Service (XRAY.fm)
Center for Democracy and Technology
Center for Media Justice
Center for Rural Strategies
Climate Hawks Vote
Coalition of Religious Communicators Associations
Color Of Change
CreaTV San Jose
Democracy for America
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Fight for the Future
Folk Alliance International
Franciscan Action Network
Free Press Action
Friends of the Earth
Future of Music Coalition
Harry Potter Alliance
Institute for Intellectual Property & Social Justice
Just Foreign Policy
Line Break Media
Media Access Project
Media Action Center
Media Mobilizing Project
Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
Mississippi Center for Cultural Production
National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients
National Council of Churches USA
National Digital Inclusion Alliance
National Federation of Community Broadcasters
National Hispanic Media Coalition
National Organization for Women
Native Public Media
New America’s Open Technology Institute
Open Access Connections
OVEC-Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
People Demanding Action
People For the American Way
Prometheus Radio Project
Revolving Door Project
Social Security Works
The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture
The Authors Guild
The Greenlining Institute
Theatre Communications Group
TURN - The Utility Reform Network
United Church of Christ Office of Communication, Inc.
Win Without War
Women In Film, Los Angeles
Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press
Writers Guild of America West