The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Timothy Karr: 201-533-8838,,

FCC Net Neutrality Order a 'Squandered Opportunity'


a 3-2 vote Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission approved new
rules intended to prevent Internet providers like AT&T, Comcast and
Verizon from acting as gatekeepers on the Web. The rules, however,
heavily favor the industry they are intended to regulate, and leave
consumers with minimal protections. Democratic Commissioners Mignon
Clyburn and Michael Copps voted with Chairman Julius Genachowski, while
Republican Commissioners Robert McDowell and Meredith Attwell Baker
voted against.

Free Press Managing Director Craig Aaron made the following statement:

"We are deeply disappointed that the chairman chose to ignore the
overwhelming public support for real Net Neutrality, instead moving
forward with industry-written rules that will for the first time in
Internet history allow discrimination online. This proceeding was a
squandered opportunity to enact clear, meaningful rules to safeguard the
Internet's level playing field and protect consumers.

"The new rules are riddled with loopholes, evidence that the
chairman sought approval from AT&T instead of listening to the
millions of Americans who asked for real Net Neutrality. These rules
don't do enough to stop the phone and cable companies from dividing the
Internet into fast and slow lanes, and they fail to protect wireless
users from discrimination. No longer can you get to the same Internet
via your mobile device as you can via your laptop. The rules pave the
way for AT&T to block your access to third-party applications and to
require you to use its own preferred applications.

"Chairman Genachowski ignored President Obama's promise to the
American people to take a 'back seat to no one' on Net Neutrality. He
ignored the 2 million voices who petitioned for real Net Neutrality and
the hundreds who came to public hearings across the country to ask him
to protect the open Internet. And he ignored policymakers who urged him
to protect consumers and maintain the Internet as a platform for
innovation. It's unfortunate that the only voices he chose to listen to
were those coming from the very industry he's charged with overseeing."

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