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Just Do It, Julius

Dear FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski,

I don’t want to wake up six months from now and find that the Internet has changed forever.

In the past few weeks since a federal court decision jeopardized your ability to protect Internet users, nearly 250,000 people have signed petitions or sent messages urging you to protect the Internet by “reclassifying” broadband under Title II of the Communications Act.

And yes, we know what “reclassify” means. But does the FCC know what it means when this many people are speaking out about an incredibly nuanced, seemingly wonky issues? Let me tell you: It means that we care, deeply, about the future of the Internet.

I understand you’re facing a nightmarish situation as chairman. All of your aspirations for protecting and expanding the Internet are now in jeopardy, thanks to the court ruling – not to mention the years of terrible decisions made by your predecessors before you even took up your post. But that’s how it is.

Now you must gather the courage to reassert the FCC’s authority over the Internet – and thus make sure we have Net Neutrality and that you can deliver on the crucial goals of the national broadband plan.

You’re facing enormous pressure not to reclassify broadband. I know the telecommunications lobby has lined up what must feel like cannons aimed at you.

But you, Mr. Chairman, are ultimately responsible for protecting the most important communications platform of our time.

And we’ve got your back. Along with the hundreds of thousands of us cheering you on, you actually have an astounding number of supporters, from your own colleagues at the FCC to President Obama, who has already told you and the nation that he’ll “take a back seat to no one” when it comes to Net Neutrality. This month, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, told you he would support strong FCC action to get the national broadband plan back on track.

Despite this support, you’ve continued to dodge questions about what course the agency will take, and have yet to commit to act in the public’s interest. Today, Free Press – the organization I work for – launched a clock to publicly mark the time elapsed since the FCC left the Internet unprotected. The repercussions of inaction are tremendous, and if we lose the Internet now, we’ll never get it back.

There is no acceptable compromise here. We need a Title II reclassification and we’re all saying: Just do it.

Sincerely,

Megan Tady

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