Tell Your Senator to Restore Net Neutrality

In June 2018, the new rules around net neutrality that Trump’s FCC (led by former Verizon lobbyist Ajit Pai) pushed through on a party-line vote took effect. This move was yet another example of former industry lobbyists in the Trump administration acting in the interest of their former clients at the expense of the public.

House Democrats, led by Rep. Mike Doyle (PA-14), have passed legislation to undo Pai’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” and bring back the net neutrality rules that protect the internet—and its users, like all of us—from corporate interference. Now the fight moves to the Senate, where Senator Ed Markey (MA) has introduced an identical bill; call your Senator and tell them to co-sponsor S. 682, the Save the Internet Act!

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Call your Senator and tell them to co-sponsor s. 682, the Save the Internet Act!

Get the Script!

Net Neutrality Preserves the Internet as We Know It

It’s the concept that all internet traffic should be treated equally, and that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) shouldn’t be able to block or slow down certain sites you’re trying to access—or charge you more for certain services. The reason you can stream Netflix and Hulu at roughly the same speed and at no extra cost relative to the other is because ISPs aren’t currently allowed to favor one over the other.

Before the Trump administration, net neutrality had been protected under FCC rules since 2015. That’s when the FCC decided to regulate the internet as it does other public utilities, instead of regulating it as an “information service.” (This is called “Title II classification” and President Obama announced his support for it in 2014.) Deciding to classify the internet as a public utility gave the FCC a stronger hand to enforce the principles of net neutrality under existing telecommunications law. The rules also prohibited ISPs from blocking content or giving preferential treatment to some sites or content over others.

Trump’s FCC Voted to Repeal Net Neutrality

Trump’s pick for Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, has been a long-time opponent of net neutrality. On December 15, 2017 he led the FCC in a 3-2 vote to essentially wipe out net neutrality by repealing the FCC’s 2015 rules.

What could happen without net neutrality? We still really don’t know, but we’re totally at the mercy of Verizon, Comcast, and other ISPs to find out. A “bundled” internet package, as seen here, is wholly within the realm of possibility:

In general, net neutrality has ensured that everyone gets an equal voice on the internet, and has made it possible for small internet companies to grow and thrive without being stifled by bigger companies or ISPs. With net neutrality gone, there’s nothing to stop those ISPs from cutting agreements with behemoths like Facebook or Amazon to give them preferential speeds. Ultimately, that will entrench the power of big tech companies and make it harder for innovative new companies to get started and grow—all of which comes at a cost to regular people, who lose out when those companies amass too much power and don’t have to compete for their business.

What Would the Save the Net Act Do?

Rep. Mike Doyle and Sen. Ed Markey have introduced the Save the Internet Act (H.R. 1644 / S. 682) to restore net neutrality. This fairly straightforward legislation will:

  • Nullify Trump and Pai’s rule that rolled back net neutrality, and prevent them from issuing any other rule that is “substantially the same form,” and

  • Restore net neutrality by bringing back the rules from President Obama’s 2015 Open internet Order that classify ISPs as public utilities under Title II.

Restoring net neutrality will help to take power away from the corporations that want to be the gatekeepers of the internet, and give it back to internet users.

The House passed H.R. 1644 on April 10; you can check here to see how your MoC voted on this bill.

You can also check here to see if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 682.

If they haven’t, call your Senator and tell them: co-sponsor S. 682, the Save the Internet Act!

Call Script

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [PART OF STATE]. I’m calling to ask [Senator] to co-sponsor S. 682, the Save the Internet Act.

Net neutrality has ensured that everyone gets an equal voice on the internet, and has made it possible for small internet companies to grow and thrive without being stifled by bigger companies or ISPs. If ISPs and internet behemoths like Facebook are allowed to cut deals to stifle innovation or provide preferential treatment of web traffic, it will be people like me who pay the price.

Will [Senator] commit to co-sponsoring this legislation?