The broadband industry has scored a major victory: The Federal Communications Commission has overturned its own Obama era net neutrality protections.
In a party-line vote, the FCC formally agreed to start the process of gathering feedback before drafting a more specific plan (#bureaucracy). But FCC chair Ajit Pai, has made it clear that, barring a successful legal challenge, the agency will give up its authority to actually enforce net neutrality regulations.
The country’s largest broadband providers say you have nothing to worry about. In fact, the industry now claims to love net neutrality. But what the industry is calling “net neutrality” doesn’t really fit the full definition. It’s a version of net neutrality that doesn’t cover the loopholes internet providers have already discovered. If the FCC decides to drop its own protections, you probably won’t wake up one day to find YouTube or Slack blocked. But the principles that made the internet what it is today could still erode over time.
We can all agree that inter-connectivity is part of our future, and its backbone is the internet. It is important that access to the net remains open, accessible and equitable, to ensure that it can continue to benefit humanity as a whole, and not just to the few.
Right now, in the US, the FCC is planning to dismantle Title II net neutrality protections that prevent companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from controlling what Internet users can see by throttling, blocking, and censoring sites and apps, or charging special fees that get passed along to consumers. Big Cable companies are pouring a ton of money into lobbying, misleading ads, and astro-turf campaigns in an attempt to confuse the public. If they succeed, the Internet will never be the same.
Even though this issue is occurring in America, and many of our subscribers are international, we know that a lot of the web hosting companies, social media giants, and tech powerhouses are based in the US. We also know that other countries such as the UK and Australia have contemplated other types of restrictions on the internet which will impact on the open-access nature of the web that a lot of us currently enjoy.
PLEASE click image below to sign:
What is net neutrality?
Net neutrality is the basic principle that protects our free speech on the Internet. “Title II” of the Communications Act is what provides the legal foundation for net neutrality and prevents Internet Service Providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from slowing down and blocking websites, or charging apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience (which they then pass along to consumers.)
Why is net neutrality important?
The Internet has thrived precisely because of net neutrality. It’s what makes it so vibrant and innovative—a place for creativity, free expression, and exchange of ideas. Without net neutrality, the Internet will become more like Cable TV, where the content you see is what your provider puts in front of you.
What will happen on July 12th?
Websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. We’ll provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your followers / visitors to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we’ve shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption. Now, we have to do it again!
SITES: DISPLAY AN ALERT
And don’t worry, none of these will actually block, slow, or paywall your site. But, they will let your users submit a comment to the FCC and Congress without having to leave your platform. They will only show up once and users can click away.
Below is a list of notable websites, companies, and organizations who have confirmed their participation in the July 12th day of action. The list is broad, and represents a wide range of perspectives and online communities. The one thing all of them agree on: defending Title II net neutrality.
- Feel free to use these alerts, or create a unique message that makes sense for your site. For example, if you primarily host video, put the spinning wheel of death on every video with a link to battleforthenet.com so your users can submit a comment to the FCC and Congress.
APPS: SEND A PUSH NOTIFICATION
Do you run a popular mobile app? Tell your users that ISPs want new powers to control what they see and do online.
EVERYONE: SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Are you a social media user? Change your avatar to a dreaded loading sign below. And be sure to share these images on Facebook and Twitter.
HELP US GET CREATIVE!
We’re just getting started with organizing this massive day of action, so sign up and we’ll get in touch soon with more information. If you have ideas or want to help, let us know. If you run a high-traffic website, startup, or small business, get in touch. We need you!
Battle for the Net is a project of: