WASHINGTON — On Thursday morning, the FCC released the rules and the text of the Open Internet Order it voted to approve on Feb. 26. The document provides the complete details on the agency's plan to reclassify broadband access under Title II of the Communications Act — the step needed to provide real Net Neutrality protections for Internet users, promote competition, access, and choice, and stop any phone and cable company plans to block, throttle and discriminate against online content.
Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood made the following statement:
"The FCC has restored the principle of common carriage for Internet access, the most vital two-way communications platform of our time. These rules provide the nondiscriminatory access and free speech protections that millions of Internet users have called for — and that every Internet user needs. Anyone who believes that Internet users — and not Comcast, Verizon and AT&T — should control online communications should applaud the FCC's action.
"Free Press will provide deeper analysis of the full document in the days to come. The details are important, but we already know that the FCC’s overall approach is the right one: Apply Title II to protect the free and open Internet and prevent a few powerful broadband providers from becoming gatekeepers.
"Now that Congress and everyone else can read the rules, we can continue to have a debate about protecting free speech on the Internet. But we can dismiss the ridiculous claims from the phone and cable companies and their fear-mongering mouthpieces. This is not a government takeover of the Internet or an onerous utility-style regulation. Any claims that these rules create new taxes or harm investment have been completely debunked.
“These rules are an all-too-rare example of Washington actually working for the people — responding to a massive public outcry to protect Internet users and keep powerful corporations in check. Title II is the correct, common-sense path to providing real Net Neutrality protections under the law.”