For Immediate Release
Jenn Ettinger, media coordinator, 850-766-1267
FCC Calls Off Closed-Door Meetings Under Public Pressure
As Google and Verizon try to cut a deal, Genachowski reaffirms commitment to 'freedom and openness of the Internet'
WASHINGTON - FCC
Chief of Staff Edward Lazarus called off closed-door negotiations with
major ISPs and Internet companies on Thursday, pledging "to seek broad
input on this vital issue." The announcement comes in the wake of news
that Verizon and Google are hatching plans to abandon open Internet
protections. Both the corporate deal-making and the closed-door meetings
have generated widespread public outrage.
After today's FCC meeting, Chairman Julius Genachowski said:
"Any outcome, any deal that doesn't preserve the freedom and openness
of the Internet for consumers and entrepreneurs will be unacceptable."
Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner made the following statement:
"We welcome the FCC's decision to end its backroom meetings.
Phones have been ringing off the hook and e-mail inboxes overflowing at
the FCC, as an outraged public learned about the closed-door
deal-making and saw the biggest players trying to carve up the Internet
for themselves. We're relieved to see that the FCC now apparently finds
dangerous side deals from companies like Verizon and Google to be
distasteful and unproductive.
"Now the FCC must match the chairman's words with decisive
actions. We need our leaders in Washington to make the tough decisions
and take on the difficult task of standing up to entrenched interests
and pushing forward strong rules that will protect Internet users
everywhere. Today, Julius Genachowski and the FCC took a big step back
from the brink and gave everyone who cares about the free an open
Internet reason to be hopeful that they still might do the right thing."
Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net