A quick read to put December 14 on your radar, the one year anniversary of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality protections. Fight for the Future comments on topics including speaking to the state of play, recent Internet-wide protests, and what’s next for net neutrality and tech policy more broadly.
A brief background on the issue:
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- Last year on December 14, 2017, under the leadership of Ajit Pai — a former top lawyer for telecom giant Verizon — the FCC repealed the historic Obama-era net neutrality protections.
- This came after millions of Americans sent public comments to the FCC, the vast majority in support of net neutrality. It was discovered that millions of fraudulent comments were submitted, unsurprisingly all in favor of repealing net neutrality. Now two state attorney generals have opened investigations into this fraud and activists plan to push the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives to open its own investigation.
- Since then, Governors in six states—Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana, Rhode Island, Vermont—have signed executive orders. Three states—Oregon, Vermont, and Washington—enacted net neutrality legislation. These states have been met with legal action from a coalition of telecommunication companies.
- Where we are now? In May, 2018, after a groundswell of advocacy from net neutrality activists the Senate passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the FCC’s repeal in a historic bipartisan vote of 52-47. All that’s needed now is for a simple majority of 218 representatives in the House to sign a discharge petition and bring the CRA to a vote. Currently 178 members, including Republican Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-6), have signed. Constituents are pressing lawmakers to join the ranks of representatives choosing their constituents over Big Cable by signing the discharge petition before Congress' deadline to pass the CRA resolution (H.J.Res. 129) by the end of this congressional session. Activists are encouraging Internet users to pressure members of Congress at DeadlineForNetNeutrality.com.
- What’s next? You can read some of Fight for the Future’s thoughts on what’s next for the battle for the net here.