The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

Activists Tell FCC: 'Don't Waffle on Net Neutrality!' delivers breakfast to FCC, seeking open Internet champions


On Thursday morning, members of the Coalition cooked up a protest outside Federal Communications Commission headquarters in Washington, greeting agency staffers on their way into work with a hot breakfast and an important message: "Don't Waffle on Net Neutrality!"

"We've tried all the traditional methods, including petitions, comments and phone calls, to tell the FCC to protect Net Neutrality, so this time we decided to resort to tastier tactics," said Craig Aaron, managing director of Free Press. "The public can't afford to wait much longer for the FCC to stop waffling and move forward on enacting real Net Neutrality rules to ensure that the Internet remains open for everyone."

The waffles, replete with butter and syrup, were handed out in advance of the FCC's monthly open meeting - which fell almost a year to the day from the major speech in which FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski declared, "If we wait too long to preserve a free and open Internet, it will be too late."

The FCC has yet to move forward with Net Neutrality rules - despite launching a proceeding on the issue last October. The FCC's path was complicated when a federal appeals court ruled the FCC lacked the authority to regulate broadband as a result of decisions made during the Bush administration. However, instead of moving quickly to restore the FCC's authority to protect Internet users by "reclassifying" broadband, Chairman Genachowski has wavered and delayed.

The September FCC meeting does not include Net Neutrality on the agenda, though the Commission did recently announce another round of public comment, which likely delays action until the end of the year at the earliest.

"The longer the FCC ponders the politics of Net Neutrality, the longer the public is left unprotected," Aaron said. "We cannot accept an Internet with fast and slow lanes, where the biggest companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon get to choose the winners and losers online. Chairman Genachowski has the backing of the president, congressional leadership and, most importantly, millions and millions of Internet users. We all need him to stop waffling and start getting to work."

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