Free Press condemned the Federal Communications Commission’s abandonment of its authority to safeguard internet users and promote universal access to an open and affordable internet. The filing was in response to an Oct 2019 US Court of Appeals decision to remand for further consideration by the FCC three key issues related to the agency’s 2017 network neutrality repeal, which also rolled back other vital protections under Title II of the Communications Act.
830 Groups Urge Congress to Halt Broadband, Electricity and Water Shutoffs in Next COVID-19 Relief Bill
830 utility-justice, environmental, faith, digital-rights and civil-rights groups sent a letter to Congress calling for the next congressional COVID-19 relief package to include a moratorium on broadband, electricity and water shutoff. The letter also calls for stimulus funds to address the systemic issues that lead to shutoffs. These issues include racial and economic inequities that can be addressed with improved affordable broadband programs including Lifeline; distributed solar energy; and percentage-of-income water-affordability initiatives.
The report calls for a tax on targeted online advertising to respond to the crisis in journalism and fund diverse, local, independent and non-commercial news and information. The report proposes a series of proposals to levy a small tax on ads sold by highly profitable companies like Facebook and Google.
The decisions by networks to go all-in on Donald Trump in 2016 may sound a distant echo today. But it’s one that is still being heard and felt in the wake of the networks’ decision to air President Donald Trump’s Jan 8 speech about a border crisis that doesn’t exist and a wall that the vast majority of US taxpayers don’t want to pay for. News outlets need to have a deeper reckoning about their role in enabling President Donald Trump’s lies and spreading his racist propaganda.
You can be sure that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and his cronies in the phone and cable lobby will declare victory on June 11, but the expiration of the 2015 net neutrality rules will be only a temporary hiccup. The fight is far from over in Congress, in the courts, and across the country. That’s because people everywhere understand what’s at stake. Without net neutrality, large phone and cable companies will control the future of communications, deciding who gets a voice and who doesn’t. No one thinks that letting Comcast manage our clicks is a good idea.
More Than 100 Mayors Sign Pledge to Protect the Open Internet as FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal Is Set to Take Effect
More than 100 US mayors have signed on to the Cities Open Internet Pledge requiring all internet providers that do business with participating cities to adhere to strong Net Neutrality principles. The effort was launched during the SXSW conference in March when Mayors Bill de Blasio of New York City, Steve Adler of Austin (TX) and Ted Wheeler of Portland (OR) released the pledge and urged fellow mayors to sign on.
[Press release] The number of mayors pledging to refuse to do business with online gatekeepers has grown to 12 since New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled MayorsForNetNeutrality.org on March 11. Mayor De Blasio is now working with Free Press and others to get more US mayors to sign the Cities Open Internet Pledge.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) that the average voter isn’t likely to be swayed by the fight to restore Net Neutrality protections. But when it comes to the wave of support for Net Neutrality, Chairman Thune is misreading the writing on the wall ... if he’s reading at all. The senator certainly hasn’t been listening to his constituents in South Dakota, who have joined others across the country to write dozens of letters to the editors of local newspapers urging elected officials to support Net Neutrality, or else. “Senators, have you polled us?
Internet users outraged by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to gut Network Neutrality are planning to protest at Verizon retail stores across the country on Thursday, Dec. 7, one week before an expected vote at the FCC. In some cities, protesters will march from Verizon stores to lawmakers’ offices. The protests will highlight the company’s role lobbying to kill rules that prevent telecom giants from charging extra fees, engaging in censorship, or controlling what internet users see and do through discriminatory throttling.
Note: This is an updated version of an older post. Due to the Trump Administration's recent attacks on network neutrality, we felt it was important to resurface these important examples of what happens when cable and phone companies are left to their own devices. For years a lineup of phone- and cable-industry spokespeople has called Net Neutrality “a solution in search of a problem.” The principle that protects free speech and innovation online is irrelevant, they claim, as blocking has never, ever happened. And if it did, they add, market forces would compel internet service providers to correct course and reopen their networks.
In reality, many providers both in the United States and abroad have violated the principles of net neutrality — and they plan to continue doing so in the future. This history of abuse revealed a problem that the FCC’s 2015 Net Neutrality protections solved. Those rules are now under threat from Trump’s FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, who is determined to hand over control of the internet to massive internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.