Obama's FCC to Abandon Net Neutrality?

Is the Obama FCC siding with the largest cable and phone
companies, and against Net Neutrality and universal Internet access?

The Obama administration has long vowed to protect Net Neutrality and
bridge the digital divide, and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski picked
up this baton when he took up his post last year. But now Genachowski
appears to be wavering.

According to an article in the Washington
, Genachowski may sit on his hands rather than
"reclassify" broadband to make sure the FCC can protect Internet users.
The decision not to reclassify would be a grave mistake - one that would
threaten the Internet as we know it.

A recent federal appeals court
jeopardized the FCC's authority to establish Net
Neutrality protections and carry out its National Broadband Plan.

Chairman Genachowski can fix this by reclassifying broadband as a
"telecommunications service" under Title II of the Communications Act -
where it was in the first place before a Bush
FCC changed it
, creating the mess we're encountering now.

If Chairman Genachowski fails to re-establish the FCC's authority to
protect Internet users, he will be allowing companies like Comcast,
AT&T and Verizon to slow down, block or censor content at will. And
it will cripple the FCC's ability to ensure universal Internet access
for rural, low-income and disabled Americans.

If he doesn't reclassify broadband, the phone and cable giants will
be able to block any website, blog post, tweet or outreach by a
political campaign - and the FCC will be powerless to stop them.

Basically, without reclassification, nearly every broadband-related
decision the agency makes from here forward will be aggressively
challenged in court by companies who know the FCC stands on shaky legal
ground, and the FCC will likely lose.

Which means, we could lose the Internet as we know it - the only
remaining open communications platform where we all have a voice.

Genachowski's inaction would be an outrage. But we can't just
grimace, sigh and resign ourselves to yet another broken promise, one
more Washington letdown. We have to draw the line.

Tell the FCC
to stand up to the industry pressure, keep his promises and
do the right thing: Reclassify broadband, protect Net Neutrality and
promote universal Internet access.

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