The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Liz Rose, Communications Director, 202-265-1490 x 32

More than 13,000 Americans File Comments Asking the FCC to Protect an Open Internet

Small businesses, women's groups, local civil rights leaders also declare support for Net Neutrality


With the approach of a midnight deadline tonight for comments on the
Federal Communications Commission's proposed rules to safeguard the
open Internet, thousands of individuals from all walks of life, as well
as small businesses, civil rights groups and women's groups, are
calling for a strong Net Neutrality rule.

"The public comments leave no doubt that Americans who care about
the future of the Internet want strong Net Neutrality rules," said Craig Aaron, senior program director of Free Press, which coordinates the Coalition.

"It's inspiring to read the comments of entrepreneurs and bloggers,
ministers and teachers, who all agree that the FCC must keep the
Internet open and free from discrimination."

The FCC has received nearly 15,000 comments, the overwhelming
majority from those demanding that the FCC craft strong and enforceable
Net Neutrality rules without loopholes. To see highlights from these
comments, updated throughout the day, go to:

Among the filings today is a letter
signed by 100 small-business owners from across the country who agree
that Net Neutrality is "essential to the growth of America's
small-business sector and to the revitalization of the broader U.S.
economy." The letter adds that only clear and robust Net Neutrality
rules will allow small businesses to compete on a level playing field
in the growing global marketplace.

More than a dozen women's groups -- including the Feminist Majority,
the National Organization for Women, Women Who Tech and MomsRising --
submitted a letter
to the FCC supporting Net Neutrality and noting that "the Internet is
the only open platform where women can express their own views and post
their own material without permission from media gatekeepers."

More than 20 social justice and civil rights groups -- including the
National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Progressive
National Baptist Convention, National Association of Hispanic
Journalists and -- also submitted a letter
to the FCC. "For marginalized communities, the Internet offers a
transformative opportunity to build a more equitable media system," the
letter stated. "The Internet provides communities with the lowest
barrier of entry of any medium to establishing an online presence or
media company. It enables us to speak to the masses without first
seeking the approval of a gatekeeper. This will only continue to be
possible with strong Network Neutrality rules enforced by the Federal
Communications Commission."

"The overflowing FCC docket is testimony to the broad and growing
support for Net Neutrality," Aaron said. "Millions of Americans are
counting on the FCC to make clear rules that will protect everyone's
ability to innovate and communicate, close any loopholes, and safeguard
the Internet for future generations."

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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