With the swearing in of Anna Gomez, the fifth Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner, the deadlock has been broken and, for the first time since Biden took office, the agency can finally take action to restore Title II authority and net neutrality. Today, FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel announced the agency’s plans to file a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking during their October 19 meeting and set in motion the plan to repair damage done by former Verizon lawyer and Trump FCC Chair Ajit Pai.
Fight for the Future, the digital rights group known for organizing some of the largest online protests in human history in defense of net neutrality, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to the group’s director, Evan Greer (she/her):
“With the swearing in of Anna Gomez, the FCC can finally move forward to set right what the previous administration destroyed. President Biden campaigned on the promise of restoring Title II authority and net neutrality. If his administration wants to prove these were more than empty campaign slogans, they will do everything they can to take on Big Telecom, and ensure universal access to affordable broadband. They must seize on this moment to protect the public from the monopoly power and abuses of telecom monopolies.
Restoring net neutrality is not a controversial move. An overwhelming majority of Americans from across the political spectrum support it. And yet this will still be a fight, as it always is when we try to wrest power from huge corporations. The smear campaigns have already begun—including an industry-funded op-ed claiming we don’t need net neutrality and a fear mongering analysis from Obama-era attorneys claiming the Supreme Court will strike down net neutrality that was funded by the telecom industry. When you follow the breadcrumbs, they always lead to Big Telecom.
We have seen how low the net neutrality opposition will go when their financial interests are at stake, like when they were caught red handed funding a flood of fraudulent comments that attempted to create the false appearance of support for the net neutrality repeal. We shouldn’t expect anything different this time around.The FCC should ignore the astroturf and concern trolling and move full speed ahead to restore basic oversight of telecom giants. There is no time to waste.
Net neutrality is more important today than it has ever been. As scrutiny grows on Big Tech companies and the explosion of artificial intelligence, it’s essential that there are basic rules in place to prevent the largest players from dominating the market and solidifying their monopoly power.
We must drive a flood of support and encourage Chairperson Rosenworcel and the FCC to do the job they were appointed to do: to prioritize the rights of the American people by regulating the telecom industry, even if the telecom industry doesn’t like it. ”
Fight for the Future has helped millions of people take action on broadband justice issues and helps maintain BattleForTheNet.com, a hub site for net neutrality action. Learn more at https://www.fightforthefuture.org