The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

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'


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 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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