Evan Greer, Fight for the Future
Net neutrality activists set up giant video billboard outside the FCC
Domain registrar Namecheap and #InternetSlowdown organizers Fight for the Future have parked a truck with an 11’ video billboard directly across from the FCC building in Washington, DC. Title II supporters will play a steady stream of net neutrality videos sent from Internet users around the world. The billboard will remain through the FCC’s comment deadline tonight and during their Roundtable hearings on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON– Building off the momentum of last week’s record-breaking Internet Slowdown protest, net neutrality supporters have obtained a permit to park a truck with a roof-mounted 11’ wide video billboard directly outside FCC headquarters in Washington, DC. The billboard will be playing a stream of net neutrality related videos sent in from the Internet, including videos from today’s net neutrality rallies in NYC, Philadelphia, and Chicago, and webcam appeals from Internet users everywhere explaining why net neutrality matters to them.
Fight for the Future has posted an appeal for Internet users to submit videos to play on the billboard here: http://tumblr.fightforthefuture.org/post/97569336053/fight-for-the-future-and-namecheap-have-parked-a-truck
Scroll to the bottom of this release for some initial photos. More photos will be available soon, some high-res photos available here.
The billboard action is supported by Fight for the Future, but is being coordinated by domain registrar Namecheap, who participated in the Internet Slowdown, and have released their own viral video to educate the Internet public about what’s at stake in the fight for net neutrality. Internet Slowdown organizers Free Press are also supporting the action, and are coordinating a gathering outside the FCC on Sept 16th at 11:45am.
"Washington DC is worlds away from the vast majority of Internet users who would suffer from the FCC’s current proposal," said Ted Worcester, Head of Product at Namecheap, who is camped out with a laptop running the video billboard across the street from the agency’s headquarters, "The video billboard helps give more people a way to get their message right in front of the FCC. Thanks to the open Internet, its easy for people to send us videos about why net neutrality matters to them."
"The FCC is in a pretty lonely part of Washington DC," said Holmes Wilson, co-founder of Fight for the Future, "Hopefully this video billboard will help brighten things up– with the voices of millions of people who are passionate about keeping the Internet free."
"Advocacy groups have been calling for months for the FCC to get out of Washington DC to hear from the public before they make a decision that would allow for discrimination on the Internet," said Evan Greer, Campaign Director of Fight for the Future, who helped coordinate the billboard effort, "If the FCC won’t go to the people, we’ll bring the people to the FCC, projected larger than life on a billboard that can’t be ignored. They need to get the message that we’re not going away – it’s Title II or bust."
The action on the 16th is supported by Fight for the Future, Namecheap, Free Press, Demand Progress, and Popular Resistance. Fight for the Future, Free Press, and Demand Progress all contributed to organizing the Battle for the Net Internet Slowdown, in which over 40,000 websites (including huge sites like Reddit, Namecheap, Netflix, Etsy, Vimeo, Mozilla and many more) ran prominent warnings of an impending slowdown of Internet speeds if the FCC ends net neutrality. During the protest, Internet users made over 760,000 comments to the FCC and over 300,000 phone calls to Congress (See: Infographic: the Internet Slowdown in Numbers and Screenshots).
See below for some more great photos. More coming soon! Press inquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-852-6457.
Crowd gathering outside the FCC right now as the billboard attracts attention from press, passersby, and FCC employees.
Senator Ron Wyden sent a video to be played on the screen in support of net neutrality through Title II reclassification.
9:30am the billboard is up and playing a video of Lawrence Lessig explaining the importance of Title II reclassification.
Folks from Namecheap are there with flyers to talk to FCC employees and pedestrians about why the Internet cares so much about net neutrality.
The billboard directly faces the FCC’s headquarters, and FCC employees can be seen looking down from the windows. Impossible to ignore.
The billboard will play a steady stream of videos in support of Title II net neutrality. Internet users are encouraged to submit videos to play on the billboard through this form.
An FCC employee stops to take a picture of the giant billboard.
Photo credits: Namecheap team. These photos are available for use by press.