WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 13, 2017) — Net neutrality. It’s the idea that the Internet should be open to everyone and that Internet Service Providers and telecom companies can’t block content or intentionally slow down load times for particular websites. This principle, which was initially approved by the Federal Communications Commission in 2010, is essentially that web access is a human right that should be available for all.
In recent years, these powerful telecom companies — Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Verizon, et al. — have attempted to force the FCC to abandon net neutrality rules and allow them to create a two-tiered system for Internet speeds: a fast lane for them to sell at a premium price and a slow lane for everybody else who doesn’t pay for the fast one. The companies could even boost their profits by charging users to access certain websites.
If this sounds like a horrible idea, that’s because it is. And that’s why nearly everyone who understands and depends on the Internet supports net neutrality, whether they’re startup founders, activists, gamers, politicians, investors, Entire Staffs of The Stand, comedians, YouTube stars, or typical Internet users who just want their Internet to work as advertised — regardless of their political party.
Though produced back in 2014, this segment of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver explains why abandoning net neutrality protections is such a bad idea.
So what’s changed since then? Donald Trump.
His election and his ongoing effort to repeal any federal protection created during the Obama administration have once again put net neutrality standards in jeopardy. With the new Republican majority on the FCC, Chairman Ajit Pai has launched a new proceeding on whether net neutrality rules should be revised. Pai, a former attorney for (you guessed it) Verizon, has been a longtime critic of the FCC’s approach and now he has the votes to repeal them.
TAKE A STAND — Yesterday was a Day of Action urging people to contact the FCC and urge the retention of net neutrality protections. But this campaign is just beginning (again), so click here to send your message to the FCC.
And for bonus viewing, here is Oliver’s updated segment on the issue from a couple months ago.