Open internet advocates urged Americans to "ramp up" pressure on their senators on Thursday after FCC chair Ajit Pai announced in a press release that the widely popular net neutrality rules his agency voted to repeal last December will officially die on June 11.
"We need to be paying attention, educating ourselves and others, and speaking out. This is the moment to fight!"
—Fight for the Future
"There has been much confusion about when exactly the FCC's repeal, which allows [internet service providers] like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon to block sites, charge access fees for online content, and throttle apps and services, goes into effect. Today's news ends the confusion, but not the fight," noted Fight for the Future (FFTF) in a series of tweets responding to the news. "We need to be paying attention, educating ourselves and others, and speaking out. This is the moment to fight!"
The FCC's announcement comes just a day after Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and 32 other Senate Democrats officially filed a petition to restore net neutrality protections using the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
A vote on the petition—which has the support of every member of the Senate Democratic caucus and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), but still requires one more vote to pass—could come as early as next Wednesday.
— Fight for the Future (@fightfortheftr) May 10, 2018
Denouncing the GOP-controlled agency's vote to repeal net neutrality as "shameful" in response to Pai's announcement on Thursday, Democratic FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel urged Americans to keep "making a ruckus until internet openness is once again the law of the land."
This morning the @FCC announced that #NetNeutrality protections will be formally taken off the books on June 11. This is shameful. But I'm not giving up--and neither should you. Let's keep making a ruckus until internet openness is once again the law of the land. #RedAlert pic.twitter.com/zddlEp2b4L
— Jessica Rosenworcel (@JRosenworcel) May 10, 2018
"The FCC thinks it can close the book on net neutrality on June 11," wrote Free Press on Twitter after the date of net neutrality's formal death was revealed. "Show them they're wrong—let's ramp up the Red Alert call for Congress to preserve the open internet!"
While net neutrality rules will formally be wiped off the books on June 11, FFTF offered the important reminder that "'the internet as we know it' will not suddenly die."
"Nothing will happen right away. ISP shills will immediately start saying, 'See? The sky didn't fall, guess we never needed net neutrality in the first place," FFTF explained. "The big ISPs aren't going to immediately start blocking websites or rolling out harmful paid prioritization scams. Not while Congress and the courts are still deliberating. The internet's death will be slow."