The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Moira Vahey, Free Press, (202) 265-1490 x31

Free Press Welcomes Progress on Net Neutrality

Commends FCC for Ignoring Industry Scare Tactics


The Federal Communications Commission today approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Network Neutrality policies that would preserve the open Internet on all wired and wireless networks. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn voted in favor of the rulemaking; Commissioners Meredith Attwell Baker and Robert McDowell gave partial support to the proposal.

The proposed rules would codify the four open Internet principles that now guide the FCC's oversight and enforcement of communications law. The FCC also proposed rules that would codify two new principles that prohibit Internet service providers from discriminating against content or applications and ensure that network management practices are transparent. The agency is seeking public comment on these proposals, with initial comments due by Jan. 14 and reply comments due by March 5.

Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, issued the following statement:

"After years of hard work, we are pleased that the FCC has begun this crucially important rulemaking on Network Neutrality. A well-crafted Net Neutrality rule can ensure that the open Internet continues to serve as a great force for economic innovation and democratic participation for all Americans. Today's vote is an important step toward securing the open Internet and a victory for the public interest and civil rights organizations, small businesses, Internet innovators, political leaders, and millions of people who have fought to get to this point.

"We commend Chairman Genachowski for his leadership and strong statements in support of Net Neutrality on all wired and wireless networks. We thank Commissioner Copps, whose support over the years has made this historic day possible, and Commissioner Clyburn, whose support will be invaluable in the fight to preserve the open Internet. The public will work hard to bring this rulemaking to a successful conclusion in the spring -- vigilantly working with the FCC and guarding against the heavy hand of industry lobbying.

"We look forward to the FCC enacting strong Net Neutrality rules after careful consideration of comments from the public. The agency should stick to the facts, listen to the public, and not be deterred in their efforts to finally secure this basic and beneficial consumer protection. The scare tactics of a few opponents should not delay or distract the FCC from safeguarding the open Internet for future generations. We welcome a new era at the FCC in which decisions made in the public interest withstand the cynical lobby of special interests from a few big phone and cable companies."

Free Press was created to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what's actually happening in their communities.

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