Net Neutrality

On Jan. 14, 2014, a federal court of appeals struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order, which was designed to prevent Internet service providers from blocking or slowing users’ connections to online content. The court did not comment on the validity of these rules but simply said that the FCC had used the wrong legal foundation to justify them.

In response, on May 15 FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler released flawed Internet rules that would have let ISPs charge content companies for priority treatment — relegating all other content to a slower tier of service.

Wheeler’s plan would have allowed telecom giants like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon to pick winners and losers online and discriminate against online content and applications. And it would have destroyed the open Internet.

Without Net Neutrality, ISPs would be able to devise new schemes to charge users more for access and services, making it harder for us to communicate online — and easier for companies to censor our speech. The Internet could come to resemble cable TV, where gatekeepers exert control over where you go and what you see.

Without Net Neutrality, ISPs would be able to block content and speech they don’t like, reject apps that compete with their own offerings, and prioritize Web traffic (reserving the fastest loading speeds for the highest bidders and sticking everyone else with the slowest).

Free Press mobilized the public and political leaders to protest Wheeler’s proposal and urge the FCC to reclassify broadband access services under Title II of the Communications Act — which is the only way to protect real Net Neutrality.

Nearly 4 million people — a record-breaking figure — submitted comments on the FCC’s plan, and more than 60 members of Congress spoke out. In November 2014, President Obama joined the call and urged Wheeler to reclassify under Title II.

On Feb. 4, Wheeler confirmed that he will use Title II to give Internet users the strongest protections possible. The full Commission approved his proposal on Feb. 26 — marking the biggest victory for the public interest in the FCC's history.

There will be other fights ahead. No matter what, the Internet must remain a forum for innovation and free expression. Open, affordable, fast and universal communications networks are essential to our individual, economic and political futures.

For our 101 on Net Neutrality, click here.

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Press Releases

  • Congress Needs to Stick to the Facts on Net Neutrality

    March 17, 2015
    WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, Congress will convene the first of five hearings on the FCC’s new Net Neutrality rules. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, “FCC Process: Examining the Relationship Between the FCC and the White House,” is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
  • FCC Releases Net Neutrality Rules to Protect Internet Users, Stop Blocking and Discrimination Online

    March 12, 2015
    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.
  • Historic Win for Internet Users

    February 26, 2015
    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.
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News from Around the Web

  • FCC Sued Over Net Neutrality Rules

    USA Today
    March 24, 2015

    A telecom trade group and a Texas-based broadband provider have sued the Federal Communications Commission, charging that it exceeded its authority in establishing Net Neutrality rules.

  • Broadband Providers Sue FCC to Stop Net Neutrality Regulations

    Los Angeles Times
    March 24, 2015

    Broadband providers sued the Federal Communications Commission to try to stop tough new Net Neutrality regulations, the first step in an expected lengthy court fight over the online traffic rules.

  • The GOP's Net Neutrality Assault Is All Sound and Fury, for Now

    Motherboard
    March 22, 2015

    Republican lawmakers issued a blistering attack on the Federal Communications Commission’s new open Internet rules this week during a marathon series of Capitol Hill hearings, but the FCC’s antagonists have yet to find a clear legislative path toward overturning the policy.

Learn More

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  • Cable

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  • Cybersecurity

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People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good