Sign the Petition to

FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler

We are writing to urge you to implement strong and unambiguous net neutrality rules that protect the Internet from discrimination and other practices that will impede its ability to serve our democracy, empower consumers, and fuel economic growth. Erecting toll booths or designating fast lanes on the information superhighway would stifle free speech, limit consumer choice, and thwart innovation.

The FCC must act in a clear and decisive way to ensure the Internet does not become the bastion of powerful incumbents and carriers, but rather remains a place where all speakers, creators, and innovators can harness its power now and in the future.

The Internet is a staple of our lives and our economy. The FCC should protect access to the Internet under a Title II framework, with appropriate forbearance, thereby ensuring greater regulatory and market certainty for users and broadband providers.

To ensure that the Internet fulfills its promise of being a powerful, open platform for social, political, and economic life, the FCC must adopt a rule against blocking, a bright-line rule against application-specific discrimination, and a rule banning access fees. These principles of fairness and openness should not only apply to the so-called last-mile network, but also at points of interconnection to the broadband access provider’s network. Likewise, strong net neutrality rules must apply regardless of whether users access the Internet on fixed or mobile connections.

The FCC’s proposed rules would be a significant departure from how the Internet currently works, limiting the economic and expressive opportunity it provides. Investors, entrepreneurs, and employees have invested in businesses based on the certainty of a level playing field and equal-opportunity marketplace. The proposal would threaten those investments and undermine the necessary certainty that businesses and investors need going forward. The current proposed rules, albeit well-meaning, would be far-reaching. Erecting new barriers to entry would result in fewer innovative startups, fewer micro-entrepreneurs, and fewer diverse voices in the public square. The FCC should abandon its current proposal and adopt a simple rule that reflects the essential values of our free markets, our participatory democracy, and our communications laws.

When the history of the Internet is written, 2014 will be remembered as a defining moment. This FCC will be remembered either for handing the Internet over to the highest bidders or for ensuring that the conditions of Internet openness remain for the next generation of American entrepreneurs and citizens. We urge you to take bold and unequivocal action that will protect the open Internet and the opportunity it affords for innovation, economic development, communication, and democracy itself.



Fight For The Future

This petition closed over 5 years ago

How this will help

Historically, the Internet has enabled market access without discrimination or preferences. Technically, the Internet's guiding principle of nondiscrimination preserves our right to communicate...

Historically, the Internet has enabled market access without discrimination or preferences. Technically, the Internet's guiding principle of nondiscrimination preserves our right to communicate freely online. The term "open Internet" or "net neutrality" are used for the broad principle that local cable monopolies, telecom monopolies, and wireless providers must offer access to open networks — and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company cannot decide who you could call and what you say on that call, your ISP should not be concerned with what content you view or post online. This principle is what enables the Internet to be such a hotbed for innovation.  If your small business or startup brings a new service online, the cable/telecom companies should deliver it just like they'd deliver content from a corporate behemoth like Google or NBC. The principle is what gives every startup the same chance to reach customers and users as any existing company. Simply, without Net Neutrality, startups and small business will be subject to discrimination based on a pay-to-play Internet, and the open Internet and the economic growth it has represented will be at risk. 

What's the regulatory context? On May 15, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission proposed rules that would permit Internet service providers "substantial room" for "discrimination" online, undermining the Internet's founding principle and limiting equal market access for startups, small businesses, and individuals. The FCC made this proposal after the FCC lost its second major court decision regarding open Internet rules. Both times, the FCC relying on jurisdiction that could not support nondiscrimination rules. 

How would the Internet change? Increasingly, we use the Internet not just for social media, news, booking travel, and buying books, but also for fitness and health, payments, education, urban transportation, business logistics, national security, and everything else. Changing the Internet would have a huge impact on multiple industries. Under the proposed rules, cable and phone giants like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon would be able to create a two-tiered Internet, with slow lanes (for most of us) and fast lanes (for wealthy corporations that are willing pay fees in exchange for fast service). They would be able to strike "exclusive" deals for priority on their networks, picking winners and losers in different industries based on contracts not on consumer demand. This would impact the vast majority of web companies—not just the largest companies that use the most bandwidth. 

What does the public think? More than 4 million people have already spoken out in support of an open Internet— more than have ever weighed in on an issue in front of the FCC — and upwards of 99% of commenters are on the same side!  In favor. Several hundred companies sent a joint letter in favor of nondiscrimination and no access fees or paid prioritization, as did over 100 venture capitalists and dozens of nonprofit and advocacy organizations. Private sector support for the FCC Chairman is almost exclusively from the cable and phone companies, particularly AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.


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