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 let ISPs charge content companies for priority treatment — relegating all other content to a slower tier of service.

Wheeler’s plan would let telecom giants like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon pick winners and losers online and discriminate against online content and applications. And it would destroy 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).

The tools ISPs use to block and control our communications aren’t different from the ones the NSA uses to watch us. Whether it’s a government or a corporation wielding these tools or the two working together, this behavior breaks the Internet as we know it and makes it less open and secure.

We must fight to ensure the Internet we love doesn’t become a platform for corporate speech or another tool for government spying. We must protect the Internet that lets us connect and create, that rejects censorship and values our right to privacy.

The Internet should 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.

Blog Posts

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Press Releases

  • ADVISORY: New Yorkers to Speak Out on Net Neutrality and the Comcast Merger

    October 24, 2014
    NEW YORK CITY — The fight to save Net Neutrality and stop the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger is coming to Brooklyn on Mon., Oct. 27. New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler and former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps will join others in a public discussion about our rights to connect and communicate. The hearing will occur against the backdrop of two pending FCC decisions that could destroy the open Internet.
  • Net Neutrality Supporters Speak Out in Texas

    October 21, 2014
    COLLEGE STATION — On Tuesday in College Station, Texas, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai held a public meeting on the agency’s open Internet proceeding. Approximately 100 people attended the event, including dozens who participated in a Net Neutrality rally prior to the forum.
  • Free Press: Despite Wheeler's Claims, FCC Proposal Doesn't Align with President's Position on Net Neutrality

    October 17, 2014
    WASHINGTON — On Friday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler claimed he was "in agreement" with President Obama on the issue of Net Neutrality, even though his proposed rules would clear the way for tiered, pay-for-priority Internet access.
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Resources

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News from Around the Web

  • The Cable Bundle May Be Weakening But Comcast Is Poised to be Stronger Than Ever

    Washington Post
    October 24, 2014

    A curious thing happened to the cable television industry after HBO and CBS announced streaming services that deeply threaten the lucrative cable bundle: The cable companies’ stocks have been climbing higher.

    Shares of Comcast and Cablevision are each up 6 percent since HBO made its big announcement last Wednesday. Time Warner Cable is up nearly 3 percent, and Charter has risen almost 9 percent.

  • Net Neutrality Debate Comes to Bush Library in Panel Discussion

    The Eagle
    October 22, 2014

    FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai brought the Net Neutrality debate out of Washington, D.C., and into Texas with a special panel discussion on the hot-button issue Tuesday morning at the Bush Library’s Annenberg Presidential Conference Center. Members of Free Press held a demonstration beforehand.

  • Net Neutrality Supporters Rally Outside FCC Forum

    Fox 28
    October 21, 2014

    Changes could be coming for the way your Internet is regulated. The Federal Communications Commission held a forum in College Station on Tuesday to discuss the proposed regulations.

    Net Neutrality supporters lined up outside of the Hagler Auditorium beforehand to make their voices heard in protest of the FCC’s proposed rules for the Internet.

Learn More

  • Broadband

    Access to high-speed Internet service — also known as broadband — is a basic public necessity, just like water or electricity.

    Yet despite its importance, broadband access in the United States is far from universal. Millions of Americans still stand on the wrong side of the "digital divide," unable to tap into the political, economic and social resources of the Internet.

  • Cable

    Two decades ago, something unusual happened.

    Consumers were irate about their cable bills, which were increasing at nearly three times the rate of inflation. And Congress actually did something — adopting in overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion the 1992 Cable Act. The law resulted in lower cable bills, saving consumers $3 billion in just over a year’s time.

  • Cybersecurity

    Our right to private communications is a cornerstone of American democracy. But with heightened awareness in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, technological advances have continued allowing the government to expand its reach into our private lives via electronic surveillance and data-mining programs. New laws and policies introduced in the last decade have eroded our civil liberties online.

    Congress has a poor track record when it comes to cybersecurity legislation. The bills introduced so far give the government way too much power to intrude on our privacy online.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good