We did it! Public outcry over Big Telecom’s efforts to force everyone (except those with really deep pockets) into an Internet slow lane has crashed the U.S. Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) website.
Today was the final day to file initial comments with the FCC on the raging debate over Net Neutrality - that is, the idea that no Internet data should be forced into a slow lane online because of expensive ‘prioritization’ fees. Early this morning, the public comment system received an extraordinary amount of traffic from Internet users around the world. So far, the FCC has received over 670,000 comments on its proposal through their online system.
In response to the FCC’s website fail, your OpenMedia team made sure your voices were being heard, by hand-delivering comments to the FCC’s central office in Washington, D.C. The delivery took place in cooperation with dozens of other groups in the fight for the open Internet. For our part, we took the names of over 125,00 Internet users who have joined the OpenMedia community by signing on to our Say No to the Internet Slow Lane campaign.
You can see early images of the delivery on Twitter from the Media Mobilizing Project’s Policy Director, Hannah Sassaman (@hannahsassaman)
Other groups delivering their comments today include our friends and long time collaborators at the ACLU, the Center for Media Justice, Common Cause, CREDO, DailyKos, Demand Progress, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine Advocacy, Fight for the Future, Free Press, MAGNet, MoveOn, the Media Mobilizing Project, Mozilla, OpenMedia International, Popular Resistance, reddit and Voices for Internet Freedom. You can see a few photos below:
In response to this extraordinary effort from the pro-Internet community, the FCC has – quite surprisingly – extended the initial deadline for comments through to this Friday. This is amazing, and would have never happened without your support. Other high-profile members of the tech community have also spoken out in the battle for the open Internet – including Mozilla, Etsy, Kickstarter, reddit, and Greenpeace.
In the meantime, we’re doing a great job of keeping up the pressure – but there’s still more work to do as we head towards the final deadline on September 10th. Today we proved a major point: by standing together, we forced the FCC’s online comment system into an Internet slow lane – the same type of slow lane Big Telecom is working to force on millions of innovative websites and Internet users everywhere.
Hundreds of thousands are speaking out loudly, and, if we keep it up, the FCC will have no choice but to listen to Internet users instead of caving to the U.S.’s telecom cartel. If you haven’t already joined the fight, please do so by joining us at https://OpenMedia.org/SlowLane.