We've focused on net neutrality in the past, both in terms of Ajit Pai's destructive efforts as well as possible next steps to restore net neutrality. Thankfully, there are efforts to push this through...but things are at a bit of a standstill. So this means that not only is there further work to be done, but there's a general call for a greater push on February 27th.
With news that Charter is reducing its investment in broadband because of the change in rules, it becomes paramount that net neutrality be restored. It's a simple concept: data has no ideology, and data/information should never be prioritized. With reductions in key services like low-income access to broadband and a reduction in local media...Ajit Pai's actions as FCC Chairperson aren't just cruel and corrupt, but reflect a disdain and contempt towards digital access, which this blog considers a basic human right.
Luckily, there's movement towards repealing it...but your help is needed.
Currently, Net Neutrality is being considered under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to repeal certain pieces of legislation. Here's a video that explains how the process works:
...with plans for a major push on February 27th.
That is the date of Operation #OneMoreVote, a coordinated effort by various organizations to encourage legislators to support Net Neutrality. The goal is to encourage one more Senator to join the other fifty in moving towards reinstating Net Neutrality. (The House already has 100 sponsors, and 218 are required to repeal). On February 27th, there will be another push towards contacting legislators to encourage support (and hopefully, to "break the Internet" with these messages).
Let's be really clear: net neutrality allows for small community organizations to access the same information as large companies. Grassroots websites have the same access to servers, routers, and digital information as Fortune 500 companies. Although Chicago has many resources that provide broadband access throughout the community (like the Chicago Public Library's "Internet to Go" program), these would be threatened by potential new rules around Net Neutrality. Even household consumers would feel the impact - for example, choosing to watch a movie on pay-per-view to benefit their cable company because their Netflix account is being throttled due to access.
And let's also be clear: Ajit Pai's actions were unwarranted, but potentially corrupt. After receiving a Freedom of Information Act request from Gizmodo for alleged "jokes" concerning a "Verizon puppet," the FCC refused because they believed the release of such materials would "chill deliberations and impede the candid exchange of ideas". In other words, Ajit Pai is making it clear that he is the "digital gatekeeper" of the country, and that he is serving corporate interests over the common welfare.
If this doesn't make you angry, I don't know what will.
So if you can, please join the effort on February 27th. As I've written before, digital access is vital to our social, civic and economic infrastructure. Current FCC efforts are being performed in a deliberate manner to favor corporate interests over the common welfare. And this is one issue that truly is bipartisan.
And again, thanks for reading!