Today, by a vote of 3-2, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to kill an Obama-era rule protecting our free and open internet. However, from the fiery speech given by Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, one of the two opposing votes, she is far from done fighting. (Video below.)
Clyburn was appointed by President Obama during his first year in office and was one of the votes to enshrine the protection in 2014.
Net Neutrality was codified by the FCC only after the Republican Congress failed to pass it into law amidst broad bipartisan support and prevents telecom giants from picking the internets winners and losers, pushing down some content to promote others. It also stops corporations from charging sites extra for optimum service, while forcing those that can’t or refuse to operate at slower speeds.
The only winners in FCC’s repeal of Net Neutrality are a handful of multi-national corporations that now have increased power over the flow of information and a new mechanism for charing consumers. It’s no surprise then that Ajit Pai, President Trump’s chosen FCC Chair was a top lawyer for Verizon.
If there is good news for the American people today, it’s that corporations will be locked in court battles for year’s when they try to break with the spirit of Net Neutrality. While the FCC’s 2014 ruling made consumer protections explicit, it fell in line with a series of court rulings determining that the internet, like the phone lines, provide a vital service that must remain neutral.
It is also reassuring to know that in the wake of this assault on the American public, Mignon Clyburn is ready to go into battle for all of us.
“What saddens me the most today is that the agency that is supposed to protect you is actually abandoning you,” she said in her impassioned statement. “But what I am pleased to be able to say today is that the fight to save net neutrality does not end today.”
No, this is not over. Commissioner Clyburn left no doubt about that:
FCC Commissioner Clyburn: “What saddens me the most today is that the agency that is supposed to protect you is actually abandoning you. But what I am pleased to be able to say today is that the fight to save net neutrality does not end today.” pic.twitter.com/v8ftZJQuBO
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 14, 2017