A Ringing Endorsement for For Net Neutrality: Reddit, Activism Orgs To Drive Thousands of Phone Calls To Congress
Effort marks one-year anniversary of court decision undermining Net Neutrality rules
Washington D.C. (January 14, 2015) – Members of Congress should expect to hear from tens of thousands of constituents in the coming days as Internet users rise up once again in support of strong Net Neutrality rules. The calls are being organized by Demand Progress, Fight For The Future, Free Press Action Fund, and reddit. The effort is hosted at BattleForTheNet.com, a hub site for Net Neutrality activists, and marks the anniversary of a court decision striking down net neutrality rules that were promulgated under an inappropriate authority.
The FCC is expected to issue a new Net Neutrality rule on February 26th. Constituent input to Congress is critical, as Congress may or may not attempt to overturn the FCC’s rule.
By visiting BattleForTheNet.com and entering just their phone number and zip code, users will receive an automated call connecting them to both their senators and their representative.
Reddit, which receives more than 170 million unique visitors each month, will use space on its front page to promote the effort.
Calls will be placed to Congress all day long, but those who call Congress after 3pm Eastern will then be connected to reddit co-founder and executive chair Alexis Ohanian. Mr. Ohanian will be broadcast live on reddit so that users can watch as he frenetically thanks as many Internet users as possible for standing up for Net Neutrality.
"The Internet is driving the new digital economy, but legacy corporations would like to stifle that innovation. Steve Huffman & I were very fortunate in starting reddit, so I’m honored to spend a day thanking the Internet users who are fighting to save Net Neutrality for the next generation of tech entrepreneurs," said Alexis Ohanian.
"Too often in Washington, well-heeled lobbyists get their way simply because the rules are too arcane for the average person to follow. That simply isn’t the case with the Internet. The future of the Internet is too important to sell off to the highest bidder," said David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress.
"Brace yourself, Congress. The Internet is coming," said Evan Greer, campaign director at Fight For The Future.
"It’s time for members of Congress to either get on the right side of the Net Neutrality issue or get out of the way,” said Free Press Action Fund President and CEO Craig Aaron. “Millions of Americans have spoken out, and the FCC is poised to give us the real Net Neutrality rules we need. Congress has already put in place the bipartisan legal framework that would make this a reality. The FCC now just needs to act by reclassifying Internet access under Title II.”
Net Neutrality is the fundamental principle of the Internet that treats all web traffic equally. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must treat the small amount of traffic necessary to check an email the same as traffic necessary to stream video. If Net Neutrality didn’t exist, ISPs would be free to change the speed at which you can access certain content to extract profit, or block it all together.
Verizon sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), arguing that the FCC’s 2010 rules were promulgated under an faulty authority. A court agreed exactly one year ago today.
While corporations like Verizon and Comcast see extra profits to be had by selling priority access to their consumers, Internet users have demanded that the FCC simply reclassify broadband Internet and keep similar rules to those that have always governed the Internet. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will announce his plans on February 5th.
Millions of people have called or written the FCC demanding the agency reclassify broadband Internet access under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. A previous effort organized by The Battle for The Net coalition generated more than 300,000 phone calls, 800,000 FCC comments and 2,000,000 emails to Congress in a single day in support of Net Neutrality.