OpenMedia

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Nearly 100,000 speaking out as U.S. FCC pushes ahead with proposal that could create an Internet Slow Lane

Huge public outcry succeeds in forcing FCC to back away from officially endorsing Big Telecom’s Slow Lane plan

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission announced this morning that it will push ahead with a proposal that could create an Internet slow lane for everyone except deep-pocketed conglomerates. However, at the last minute, the FCC pulled back from their the original vision for the slow lane proposal, which is being pushed for by Big Telecom, by opening the possibility of reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service. Experts agree that reclassification the only way to safeguard the open Internet and put an end to the prospect of slow lanes.

The FCC proposal now moves into a 60-day public comment period, followed by a further 60 days for response. Nearly 100,000 people have spoken out against the Slow Lane as part of an international campaign led by OpenMedia in partnership with The Nation magazine.

Responding to this morning’s FCC decision, OpenMedia.org Executive Director Steve Anderson said:

“This battle is really just beginning - nearly 100,000 people have spoken out in just a few days, and it looks like this public pressure is really starting to have an impact. Internet users everywhere want to keep the web free and open - that’s why so many are speaking out against the idea of creating a slow lane for everyone except wealthy conglomerates. It looks like we’ve succeeded in forcing the FCC to pull back from fully endorsing Big Telecom’s Internet Slow Lane plan.”

Anderson continued: “Unfortunately the FCC has refused to rule out the prospect of creating a slow lane - instead they are leaving the door open for it and other Internet gutting proposals to succeed. The common sense solution is to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service to ensure equal access for all. That’s what everyone except the telecom lobbyists want - so it’s crucial that the public speak up. We’ll be redoubling our efforts over the coming months to ensure decision-makers listen to Internet users instead of to powerful and unaccountable telecom conglomerates.”

Over 96,700 people have spoken out against the Slow Lane at https://OpenMedia.org/slowlane

About OpenMedia.ca

OpenMedia.ca is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights.

Through campaigns such as StopTheMeter.ca and StopSpying.ca, OpenMedia.ca has engaged over half-a-million Canadians, and has influenced public policy and federal law.

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Contact

David Christopher
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca
1-778-232-1858
david@openmedia.ca

More Information

  • The battle for the open Internet is just beginning. Source: The Verge
  • Net Neutrality, Monopoly, and the Death of the Democratic Internet. Source: Motherboard
  • FCC's new net neutrality rules opposed by 100+ internet companies (update: vote still on schedule). Source: Engadget.
  • Internet traffic from around the globe passes through U.S. servers, peering, and content delivery networks. As a result, it’s likely that web traffic from outside the U.S. could get caught in the slow lane. Source:Motherboard.
  • Protesters set up camp at net neutrality rally outside FCC headquarters. Source: The Guardian.
  • OpenMedia fought for and won Canadian Open Internet rules that should prevent Big Telecom discriminating against competing services. We even flew in some of the original architects of the Internetto the CRTC hearing.
  • CRTC report shows Internet openness complaints went up in 2012 - see this media advisory.
  • OpenMedia.ca’s crowdsourced Casting an Open Net Plan calls for net neutrality audits and penalties for companies in breach of net neutrality.
  • CRTC will rescind ‘unlimited use’ Internet decision – or Ottawa will overturn it. Source: The Globe and Mail
  • OpenMedia.ca: Regulators pull back from usage-based billing after half-a-million Canadians speak out
  • "If using the Rogers 3G or LTE network, for only $5/month, customers can enjoy 10 hours of viewing on their device" (This means non-Rogers content is unfairly more expensive than Rogers-owned content.) Source: Google Play