CCTV Comments on FCC’s expected December 14th Vote to Abandon Net Neutrality

December 12, 2017

CCTV Center for Media & Democracy’s comments on FCC’s expected December 14th vote to abandon Net Neutrality Rules.
Contact: Lauren-Glenn Davitian, davitian [at] cctv [dot] org,  802-777-7542

CCTV Center for Media & Democracy has joined 150 national advocates to oppose the FCC’s December 14th vote to dismantle Net Neutrality rules.  The national letter in support of an open Internet, represents a broad swath of public interest, racial justice, artist, library, and other organizations. (It is available here and below).

In CCTV’s view, the FCC rulemaking is an assault on free speech and local control. Reclassifying Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from a Title II “telecommunications service” to a Title I “information service” will not “restore internet freedom”. The proposed rules will erode consumer protections and curtail the free flow of information that the Internet was intended to provide.

CCTV’s position has not changed since the first efforts to regulate broadband providers in the Brand X Case in 2005. Broadband telecommunications providers should be treated as common carriers (like phone companies) and not be allowed to discriminate against particular types of internet traffic or content. And most importantly, the FCC should not prohibit U.S. states and cities from establishing their own net neutrality rules.

In Burlington, Vermont we are especially fortunate to be served by Burlington Telecom, a state of the art fiber to the home network that does not need to throttle traffic because it can handle massive amounts of voice, data and video. BT is designed to support a thriving digital ecosystem. We support BT’s commitment to net neutrality practices. Furthermore, we urge Comcast, which also serves our community, to upgrade its Vermont network so it can cease the practice of data caps and network throttling.

CCTV and its fellow national media justice advocates stand tall against the FCC’s short-sighted action. The expected 3-2 decision to dismantle net neutrality rules will lead to appeals in federal court --the same courts that required FCC to reclassify broadband networks as Title II “telecommunications service” or common carriers. We remain committed to the fight for a TRULY open Internet.

December 12, 2017

The Honorable John Thune, Chairman
U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Bill Nelson, Ranking Member
U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Greg Walden, Chairman
Energy and Commerce Committee
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Frank Pallone, Ranking Member
Energy and Commerce Committee
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Thune, Chairman Walden, Ranking Member Nelson, and Ranking Member Pallone:

A free and open internet is vital to core American values. It affects the freedom to share our thoughts and opinions freely, the ability to organize, and the opportunity to innovate and create. The principle of net neutrality – that all data on the internet should be treated equally, and internet service providers (ISPs) should not discriminate or provide preference to any data, regardless of its source, content, or destination – is what has made the internet the great engine of free expression, organizing, and economic opportunity that it is today.

Unfortunately, a radical draft order proposed by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai would silence everyone’s voices and dismantle Americans’ freedoms by rolling back rules that protect net neutrality, giving companies free rein to dismantle the open internet. This proposed order would allow ISPs to control what individuals see and do on the internet without strong oversight for consumers. It departs from 15 years of bipartisan agreement from FCC chairs that the agency has both the authority and the responsibility to protect consumers and competition in the broadband marketplace. This is nothing more than an attack on the rights and freedoms of all Americans, and a gift to already powerful corporations. It is especially damaging to individuals and communities that have historically struggled to share their stories.

The current FCC rules—established in 2015 with the Open Internet Order and upheld in court—protect freedom of expression and an open marketplace for businesses to compete, free of interference from ISPs. These open internet protections are tremendously popular. They are supported by almost 80 percent of Americans in recent polling and also by millions of Americans who commented to the FCC and called Congress to keep the rules in place. Since the 2015 net neutrality protections were adopted, we have seen continued innovation on the internet and increasing revenues and investments from ISPs. Under a free and open internet, everyone wins.

In his proposed order, Chairman Pai removes even the most basic protections for all content to be treated equally online. If the order passes on December 14, ISPs will be able to slow down or even block the content of websites for any reason, stifling free speech and skewing the marketplace.

Despite his rhetoric, since becoming chairman, Pai has steadily stood on the side of big companies and made it harder for all Americans to have access to a free and open internet, and created new obstacles for Americans to connect and communicate. He has set out to not only repeal net neutrality, but to cut aid to families in low-income communities in an assault on Lifeline. Under Pai’s new policies, the digital divide will only deepen, innovative new businesses will struggle to compete, and the voices of millions will be silenced.

With the vote scheduled for December 14, we strongly urge Congress to stand up for the communities you serve by protecting net neutrality. Tell the FCC to pull the vote for this proposed order. A free and open internet protects a free and open society for all Americans—regardless of race, gender, faith, ability or disability, or socioeconomic status. These values are what make us Americans. We urge you to fight for your communities and our society.

We, the undersigned organizations, representing a diverse group of consumer, media, technology, library, arts, civil liberties, and civil rights advocates, artists, and musicians, urge you and your colleagues to support the current net neutrality rules in place, and tell the FCC to stop its proposed plan to end them.

Sincerely,

18MillionRising.org

A Herr Smith & EE Smith Library

Abel J. Morneault Memorial Library

Access Humboldt

Access Now

Access Sonoma Broadband

ADAPT Montana

Akaku Maui Community Media

Alice James Books

Allied Media Projects

Alternate ROOTS

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

American Civil Liberties Union

American Library Association

Appalshop, Inc.

Arts & Democracy

Association of College and Research Libraries

Association of Research Libraries

Association of University Presses

Barclay Public Library District

Black Women’s Health Imperative

Boston Library Consortium

Butte Public Library

BYP100

Cahokia Public Library

Campaign for Youth Justice

Carlinville Public Library

CASH Music

CCTV Center for Media and Democracy

Center for Democracy & Technology

Center for Media Justice

Center for Rural Strategies

Center for Social Inclusion

Central Community High School #71

Charleston Carnegie Public Library

Clarke University

Coalition of Religious Publishing Associations

Color Of Change

Common Cause

Common Frequency

Courage Campaign

CreaTV San Jose

Daily Kos

Dayton Public Library

Defending Rights & Dissent

Demand Progress

Dignity and Power Now

Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

Engine

EveryLibrary

Faithful Internet

Fight for the Future

Forward Together

Frank Bertetti Benld Public Library

FREE Families Rally for Emancipation and Empowerment

Free Press Action Fund

Free Speech Coalition

Friends of the Earth

Future of Music Coalition

Galatia Public Library

Garrard Co Public Library

Girl Friday

Global Action Project

Government Information Watch

Harristown Public Library District

Hawarden Public Library

HealthHIV

Hollaback!

Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings

Hope Welty Public Library

Illinois Heartland Library System

Illinois Library Association

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

International Documentary Association

Iowa Library Association

Iraq Veterans Against the War

Kingdom Access TV

LeadingAge

LitNet - The Literary Network

Mahomet Public Library District

Maine Library Association

Marion Carnegie Library

Martinez Street Women's Center

Mason City Public Library District

May First/People Link

Media Access Project

Media Action Center

Media Alliance

Media Mobilizing Project

Memorial Health System Professional Library

Michigan Library Association

Minnesota Library Association

Mississippi Valley Library District

Mobile Beacon

NARAL Pro-Choice America

Nashville Public Library

National Association of Consumer Advocates

National Coalition Against Censorship

National Coalition for LGBT Health

National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients

National Hispanic Media Coalition

National Juvenile Justice Network

National Organization for Women

Native Public Media

New America's Open Technology Institute

New Mexico Library Association

New Progressive Alliance

Oakland Privacy

Online Policy Group

Open Access Connections

Open MIC (Open Media and Information Companies Initiative)

OpenMedia

Oregon State University Libraries & Press

Orinda Progressive Action Alliance

PEN America

People Demanding Action

Popular Resistance

Progressive Technology Project

Prometheus Radio Project

Public Citizen

Public Justice Center

Public Knowledge

Race Forward

Rick Warren Memorial Public Library District

Rights4Girls

Robinson High School Library

RootsAction.org

RYSE Youth Center

Savvy System Designs

Smithton Public Library District

Society of American Archivists

Somos Un Pueblo Unido

South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce

Southwest Organizing Project

St. Ambrose University Library

St. Paul Neighborhood Network

Stinson Memorial Public Library District

The Authors Guild

The Greenlining Institute

The Harry Potter Alliance

The People’s Press Project

The Tully Center for Free Speech

Tri-City Public Library

United Church of Christ, OC Inc.

United Plant Savers

United Spinal Association

Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center

Venice Public Library

Voqal

Wedsworth Memorial Library

WFNU Frogtown Community Radio

Williamsburg (Iowa) Public Library

Women In Media & News

Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press

Women's Media Center

Woodhull Freedom Foundation

World Wide Web Foundation

Worthington Libraries

Writers Guild of America West

Young Women United

 

 

 

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