Net neutrality activists give FCC a holiday break, for one week they will stop driving thousands of phone calls
Fight for the Future and other groups have driven more than 55,000 phone calls to desks at the FCC in the last two months, keeping phones at the agency ringing off the hook with voices for Title II
WASHINGTON – Today, net neutrality activists announced that, in the spirit of the holidays, they will be giving the FCC a one-week break from constant phone calls in support of Title II net neutrality. Internet freedom groups have bombarded 30 top officials at the agency with tens of thousands of phone calls since late September, when it appeared that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was preparing to ignore nearly 4 million public comments on the issue.
To date, the page CallTheFCC.com has connected more than 55,000 phone calls to FCC staffers–nearly 1,000 every day for the last two months. More than 1,800 people have signed up to be "daily callers," meaning they receive a reminder to call a new FCC official each day. Calls skip the FCC switchboard and go directly to the desks of 30 top officials.. FCC officials have told activists via email that their phones are ringing off the hook every hour of the business day.
This morning, Fight for the Future emailed the 30 FCC employees who have been receiving calls to inform them that they’d be stopping the calls for one week, but that they should expect even more pressure after the FCC meets December 11th – if the FCC does not show clear signs it is moving quickly toward a vote on Title II net neutrality rules in January.
The statement below can be attributed to Fight for the Future co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng:
The FCC should be accountable to the public, not the special interests of a select few companies. We know that monopolies like Comcast and Verizon spend tens of millions of dollars lobbying and are constantly calling and visiting the FCC to make sure that their position is heard. We built CallTheFCC.com to make sure that the public has the same opportunity.
In the last few months, we’ve surrounded the FCC with protests and bombarded them with phone calls. Today, in the holiday spirit, we’ll be stopping the phone calls for one week. We are giving the FCC the benefit of the doubt that they are finally listening to the overwhelming public consensus, and are moving toward a vote on strong Title II net neutrality rules in January. December 11th is FCC’s next meeting, and we will be there in force. If we don’t hear Chairman Wheeler make a strong statement indicating that his agency is listening to the public and moving toward Title II rules, we’ll redouble our calling efforts starting on December 12th, and unveil a new tool that makes it even easier for the public to make their voices heard at the FFC.
CallTheFCC.com was built by Fight for the Future, and has been supported by Demand Progress, reddit, Free Press, MoveOn, CREDO Action, Democracy for America, and other netroots organizations.
Fight for the Future were lead organizers of the Internet Slowdown on September 10th, which mobilized 40,000 websites in support of Title II net neutrality, and drove more than 750,000 FCC comments and 300,000 phone calls in a single day. They were also instrumental in organizing the Occupy the FCC encampment, which helped bring Title II into the national spotlight, and put it on the table as an option at the FCC.
"There are so many people who want to speak out on net neutrality, that it’s amazing what happens when you give them an easy way to do it," said Fight for the Future’s Chief Technical Officer Jeff Lyon, who built CallTheFCC.com, "We know the people at the FCC are people too, so we’re happy to give them a week off. Hundreds of calls a day is a lot to handle. But they need to do the right thing and stop delaying the process in ways that benefit Cable companies and hurts the public. If the FCC does move forward with a strong net neutrality rule, we can direct all this attention to defending the FCC’s decision in Congress. There are millions of people ready to fight for net neutrality, the FCC’s choice is whether to side with those millions or go it alone."
Fight for the Future works to excite the Internet to fight for the public good, our basic rights and freedoms. Founded in 2011, we’re known for effective, viral organizing and mass engagement through the distributed organizing platforms we’ve built, including the SOPA protests in the winter of 2011-2012 and the Internet Defense League. For more information, visit www.fightforthefuture.org or our Facebook and Twitter pages.