WASHINGTON — On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission will vote to reclassify high-speed Internet access service under Title II of the Communications Act. These rules will prohibit Internet service providers from blocking or throttling Internet content and ban paid-prioritization schemes that could create Internet slow lanes.
The vote is the culmination of a decade of debate on Net Neutrality and a year of intense activism in which more than 4 million people weighed in at the FCC. After a remarkable series of escalating protests, online and off, the agency scrapped its previous plans and embraced a Title II approach that offers the strongest protections and surest legal footing to withstand legal challenges.
Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:
“Today's vote is the biggest win for the public interest in the FCC’s history. It's the culmination of a decade of dedicated grassroots organizing and advocacy. Millions of people came to the defense of the open Internet to tell Washington, in no uncertain terms, that the Internet belongs to all of us and not just a few greedy phone and cable companies.
"We applaud Chairman Wheeler, Commissioner Rosenworcel and Commissioner Clyburn for voting for real Net Neutrality today. They were willing to listen to the facts in the face of a fiercely dishonest industry lobbying effort. But this is really a victory for the millions and millions of people who expect the Internet to be an open engine for free speech and innovation."
"A diverse coalition of activists, artists, musicians, social justice organizers, faith leaders, legal scholars, free speech advocates and Internet startups pushed back daily against phone and cable lobby efforts to undermine the open Internet. We built the detailed case for Title II, deluged the FCC’s website, jammed switchboards on Capitol Hill, and forged new alliances that are transforming how telecom and technology policy is made.
"The engaged Internet community is now a political force to be reckoned with. It's one that will no longer sit quietly by as politicians and lobbyists attempt to take away our rights to connect and communicate. Today's win is momentous for us, but we’ve only scratched the surface of what a well-organized Internet constituency can accomplish.
“There’s no doubt that the cable and telecom monopolies and their hired guns will ramp up their lies and lobbying in an attempt to take this victory away from Internet users. But we're ready to fight back to defend this historic win. We need an open, fast, affordable and secure Internet for everyone. Today's vote moves us one step closer to that reality."