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Final Battle for Net Neutrality

by Countable | 10.21.17

What’s the story?

After millions of public comments, a digital protest, and a failed campaign to stop the re-nomination of anti-net neutrality FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a final vote on the matter will be happening soon, possibly as early as November 22.

As Battle For The Net – who arranged this summer’s Net Neutrality Day of Action – observed:

"This could be your last chance to stop ISPs from messing up your Internet."

"FCC Chair Ajit Pai is about to announce a vote to slash America's net neutrality rules — meaning companies like Comcast & Verizon will be able to block apps, slow websites, and charge fees to control what you see & do online," the online advocacy group says. “Once Pai announces the vote, the situation becomes desperate. But if we flood Congress with phone calls right now, they can stop the vote.”

Pai has said that net neutrality rules unfairly burden internet service providers (ISPs), especially "mom and pop" ones, and that the government should not preemptively impose regulations on ISPs.

"My concern is that, by imposing those heavy-handed economic regulations on Internet service providers big and small, we could end up disincentivizing companies from wanting to build out Internet access to a lot of parts of the country, in low-income, urban and rural areas," Pai said.

Whichever side of the net neutrality battle you’re on, now is the time to join the ranks and make your voice heard.

Where do your reps stand on net neutrality?

While Battle For The Net is clearly on the side of net neutrality, the site has a unique breakdown of where members of Congress stand on the issue. Users can input their state, and see if their reps are on Team Cable, Team Internet, or Unknown.

Once you find out which team your rep is on, you can use Countable to tell your reps whether they need to choose sides, switch sides, or stay the course.

—Josh Herman

Related Reading

(Photo Credit: posteriori / iStockphoto)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(421)
  • Amanda
    10/21/2017
    ···

    There is no logical argument against net neutrality that a freedom-loving person could make. Net neutrality is so important to maintain. Only someone being bribed by lobbyists would vote against net neutrality; it’s pro-freedom, pro-democracy--it's even pro-capitalist. Why would you vote against it?! AT&T and Comcast are monster businesses and we cannot afford to feed their myopic greed.

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  • Dave
    10/21/2017
    ···

    Our democracy depends on a free, open, non censorship net neutrality. It is part of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly. To repeal, restrict or anything else would be tyranny, cover up and a dictatorship that says everything is fake news, unless it comes from them. Controlling, slowing it down and censorship is a slippery slope for democracy. This is your first amendment at stake!

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  • Cindylen
    10/21/2017
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    Save net neutrality. Large corporations do not deserve to control the internet.

    Like (180)
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  • Bill
    10/21/2017
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    I’m counting on you, my elected representative, to protect net neutrality and vote against changes that will create slow lanes and discrimination across our internet services.

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  • Lauren
    10/21/2017
    ···

    It is important that we maintain free and open access to the internet. In the age of misinformation where Russia can pay for ads on Facebook to influence an election, we need, more then ever, organic searches and equal service for all sites. As in capitalism, quality information will rise to the top, unless we begin to allow priority access based on how much a content generator can afford to pay ISPs. Let information be exchanged freely and let the quality of the information and it’s sources be the deciding factor of its dissemination and not the amount of money paid to ISPs. Support net neutrality

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  • A
    10/21/2017
    ···

    I can think of few things as important to America’s future as the free and open flow of information through the internet. Please defend net neutrality.

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  • sp-helps
    10/21/2017
    ···

    allowing huge corporations like comcast etc. to control what we see and how we see it is a clear violation of our first amendment right for the love of god please don’t let them snuff out our rights

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  • Wynsum
    10/21/2017
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    Vote to KEEP net neutrality. Allowing ISPs the power to deny access to internet functions and websites on a pay-to-play basis is a dangerous infringement on freedom of information. And the argument that this hurts “mom and pop” ISPs is frankly absurd. There is no such thing as a mom and pop ISP, except perhaps in very isolated instances. For the most part, it’s big corporate giants like Comcast, Verizon and ATT&T that provide the bulk (if not all) of our access to the internet. Net neutrality is key to an informed and educated public, and the only politicians who are afraid of that are the ones whose careers are dependent on ignorant voter blocs that believe all their malarkey on faith and faith alone. Protect net neutrality!

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  • Mary
    10/21/2017
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    I am for a free and impartial net. When people control what is said, read, and entered that is open to tyranny. No one or company should control freedom of speech. That said bad language and disrespect of other persons should be addressed.

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  • Rebecca
    10/21/2017
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    Net neutrality preserves a level playing field for business and consumer alike. There only reason for an elected representative to support a non-net neutrality environment is a payoff from a cable provider like Comcast. Let’s hope our representatives can’t be bought!

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  • Catherine
    10/21/2017
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    Of course I do not want big corporations ruling the net!! Net neutrality is a must!!

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  • DrRichSwier
    10/22/2017
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    The federal government has no role in regulating the internet. Net neutrality is a false flag. I urge Congress and the FCC to deregulate the internet. Let the free market make the internet a better choice.

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  • Naomi
    10/21/2017
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    Vote against any regulation that restricts people right to choose what they read and see on the internet. Once we restrict the consumers rights we become just like nations we have spoken against for their own restrictions. Additionally we violate our First Amendment rights to free speech. Anything that violates the truths we hold dear and our hard won freedoms should be instantly and categorically vetoed.

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  • Cabraswel
    10/21/2017
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    We are not fighting hard enough.

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  • NoHedges
    10/21/2017
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    The violation of net neutrality is paramount to treason and the offenders participating in such events should be dealt with accordingly. Ajat Pai included. 🚥 I do however think that Brent MAY have a point and we need to dig into the facts a lil deeper since this is largely a partisan debate.

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  • Phillip
    10/22/2017
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    If you want to turn us into china then let Pai continue his push to allow the destruction of net neutrality. I've been behind the great Chinese firewall. It's miserable.

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  • Christopher
    10/21/2017
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    It's hard to believe that there is anyone in America who still supports so-called "Net Neutrality," which is in fact the extension of government control over the Internet. It's a matter of public record that ultra powerful Techopolies like Google, Facebook and Amazon push it in order to tie up their service providers in red tape so they don't have to pay more for their additional use of bandwidth (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/internet-giants-google-facebook-amazon-netflix-fight-to-save-obamas-net-neutrality-regulation/article/2628936). These companies are the only ones credibly and constantly found to actually censor content, deciding what their own customers should and shouldn't say (http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-fake-news-20161116-story.html). Worse, media socialists funded by George Soros do a the heavily lifting, manipulating credulous leftist online drones - and their goal is the "government control of the means of communication" Marx called for a century and a half ago (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/soros-ford-foundation-shovel-196-million-to-net-neutrality-groups-staff-to-white-house/article/2560702). Let's grow up and move beyond simple manipulation of weak-minded social justice warriors to build a grown-up tech policy based on actually freedom, not heavy handed government regulation.

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  • Joey
    10/21/2017
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    I believe that Net Neutrality should remain and be protected at all costs. Please don't let Net Neutrality be taken away.

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  • Brent
    10/21/2017
    ···

    First, that overregulation stunts investment and innovation. We're already seeing this happen with the Internet as a direct result of Title II, with estimates showing a $150-$200 billion reduction in investment that might have otherwise occurred over the five-year period that started when reclassification was first proposed. All told, telecommunications investment is roughly 25 percent less than it should be, owing to the regulatory edict. Second, it appears that at least 5.8 million of the comments on the new regulation are fake, according to analysis conducted by the National Legal and Policy Center. The center's audit of online traffic found that the exact same comments were submitted millions of times, via "various fake email domains and U.S. address generator programs." Although other analyses have found suspicious comment patterns on both sides of the issue, these 5.8 million comments invariably advocated for the same position — support for Title II." Of course, sleight of hand is nothing new to this particular debate. Even the term "net neutrality" is deceptive. All providers today support an Internet that ensures transparency and equality, i.e., net neutrality. Don't be misled. What's at issue here is Title II — the way by which some believe net neutrality should be enforced. Without getting too far into the weeds, Title II can be best described as a rule that allows the U.S. government to apply more taxes and overregulation to Internet service providers and, ultimately, on consumers. Until the FCC's controversial final 2015 order, the Internet was genuinely open and free. In 1996, Bill Clinton-era officials considered regulating the Internet as a public utility, but judged that doing so would be counterproductive. Instead, they opted for what was called a "light touch," to allow for a maximum of innovation and competition. It's worth noting that this light touch approach is what has largely given us the Internet ecosystem we Americans enjoy today. And because American businesses had the freedom to innovate without undue interference, taxpayers have been winners too. In a summary of comments National Taxpayers Union filed with the FCC earlier this year, we noted that an unfettered Internet has yielded serious savings for governments. These include cloud-based data storage, teleconferencing among agencies, online licensing applications, and more efficient human resources policies for government employees. Add in the potential future benefits of breakthroughs like superfast 5G wireless service, among them traffic system management and first responder communications, and the payoff from smart policy is only higher. Alas, another unfortunate result of the Title II back-and-forth is that left-leaning local governments are repackaging efforts to burden their taxpayers with municipal fiber programs as well as new regulations that could hamper the rollout of more networks. Given the uneven fiscal track record of local government-sponsored Internet, these developments could signal new obstacles to a vibrant national network. More than ever before, fact-based analysis and decision making can drive policy. We cannot give legs to debates rooted in misleading claims, and this current net neutrality discussion is a notable example. Activist groups advocating for the perpetuation of Title II will stop at nothing to convince Americans their Internet freedoms are in grave peril (even when they're not) and pursue other confrontations with leaders on behalf of their unpersuasive arguments. That's their right, but it shouldn't deter public officials from acting in the interests of the millions of consumers, small business owners, and taxpayers who agree that more government involvement with the Internet is not the answer. Now with the public comment period closed, we hope the FCC will move quickly and, based on years of solid experience and facts, protect Americans from Title II. Congress can affirm this decision with legislation. Then our nation can keep moving forward, with a free and future-focused Internet.

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  • Nashluna
    10/21/2017
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    Providers should not have control over what can be seen or read on the internet. We are suppose to be a Republic, not a Fascist police state, like North Korea, that controls every media outlet and news organization. Democracy isn't for sale, and only accessible to the person who can afford it!!!!

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