For Immediate Release
Civil Rights Groups Collect Nearly 50,000 Signatures Demanding FCC Exercise Its Authority to Save the Free and Open Internet
ISPs Must Be Held to the Same Anti-Discrimination Rules as Phone, Electricity and Public Transportation Providers
WASHINGTON - On January 14, 2014, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Verizon v. FCC threw out critical government protections against discrimination online. Since the ruling, the largest online civil rights group in the country, ColorOfChange.org, has gathered nearly 50,000 signatures demanding the FCC exercise its authority to save the free and open Internet. Together with partners including Free Press, Common Cause, and CREDO Action, ColorOfChange will personally deliver a total of 1 million signatures to FCC headquarters in Washington, DC on Thursday, January 30, 2013.
Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange, who will deliver additional remarks at the FCC petition delivery Thursday, made the following statement:
“Broadband is an essential service in our daily lives and fundamental to meaningful participation in our democracy. But since the court’s ruling killed Net Neutrality protections earlier this month, the public is now entirely at the mercy of the corporate gatekeepers we all rely on to access the web.
“Tens of millions of Americans are already forced to pay too much for low-quality Internet service due lack of competition in the telecom and cable industries, and now those same megacorporations have gained unprecedented control over what we're able to see and do online.
“In early January, ColorOfChange members and allies met with new FCC chair Tom Wheeler at a rare community-led townhall in Oakland to show him the real-life impacts of the agency’s policy decisions. Now Chairman Wheeler has a critical choice to make, and we're bringing our communities' voices to his front door.
“To adequately protect the public he represents from predatory business practices by the telecom and cable giants, Chairman Wheeler must take action now to reclassify Internet service providers as common carriers subject to the same rigorous anti-discrimination rules we enjoy when making a phone call, using electricity, or taking public transportation.”
In addition to delivering member petitions, ColorOfChange has also joined 85 other organizations in signing a letter to the FCC urging the agency to reclassify. The letter is available at http://www.freepress.net/resource/105623/dear-fcc-reclassify-broadband