Editor’s note: The following is an email from former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. Copps tenure was highlighted by his continual fight to to end corporate dominance of the media and put the media back into the hands of the common man. When Commissioner Copps speaks we listen. Here he is asking for help in stopping the runaway train trying to end net neutrality that would make corporations the gatekeepers of the internet:
PETITION: We rely on Net Neutrality to connect, organize, and make change. Losing Net Neutrality protections now would stuff the pockets of Big Cable, put new fees on consumers, and be absolutely devastating for our democracy.
Our democracy relies on a free, fair, and Open Internet. Every day, journalists, voters, and activists rely on the FCC’s Net Neutrality protections to communicate freely online.
But Net Neutrality is in the crosshairs of Donald Trump’s newly appointed FCC Chairman and some Republicans in Congress. Chairman Ajit Pai has called Net Neutrality a “mistake” and promised to take a “weed whacker” to what he saw as “unneccessary regulations.”1
And at a Senate hearing just minutes ago, Sen. Ted Cruz urged Chairman Pai to “rescind” Net Neutrality “in its entirety” — and told Pai he’d have the support of his fellow senators if he did.
I served on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for over a decade, so I know firsthand how important its mission to make sure our media and communications ecosystem serves every American is. I also know how devastating it can be if the FCC uses its power to serve corporate interests — instead of the public interest.
But the most important thing I learned in my time at the FCC is that people speaking up makes a difference. If we stand by silently while Trump’s FCC dismantles Net Neutrality and puts big corporations before the public interest, our democracy will be much worse off.
But if we speak out, and hold Chairman Pai to his responsibility to be a voice for every American, there’s no limit on what we accomplish.
Without Net Neutrality, there’s nothing to stop companies like Verizon and Comcast from charging us extra fees to access sites we use every day. Even more chillingly, they could slow down and censor content from their competitors, news websites that don’t match their political agenda, or anything else they don’t like — for any reason.
That’s why the FCC’s Open Internet rules are so important. A few years ago, none of the Washington insiders thought we could ever make the FCC defend Net Neutrality. But millions of Americans filed public comments with the FCC, the FCC listened, and we delivered a huge win for the public interest.
Now, we must protect Net Neutrality the same way we won it — by speaking out and holding power accountable. Please add your name today to stop the GOP’s war on the Open Internet.
Thanks for all you do,
Michael Copps, Special Advisor for Media & Democracy
and the team at Common Cause