The FCC has restored the principle of common carriage for Internet access, the most vital two-way communications platform of our time. These rules provide the nondiscriminatory access and free speech protections that millions of Internet users have called for — and that every Internet user needs. Anyone who believes that Internet users — and not Comcast, Verizon and AT&T — should control online communications should applaud the FCC's action. Now that Congress and everyone else can read the rules, we can continue to have a debate about protecting free speech on the Internet. But we can dismiss the ridiculous claims from the phone and cable companies and their fear-mongering mouthpieces. This is not a government takeover of the Internet or an onerous utility-style regulation. Any claims that these rules create new taxes or harm investment have been completely debunked. These rules are an all-too-rare example of Washington actually working for the people
In a claim that must have people laughing out loud, the telecom and broadband providers are fighting net neutrality claiming that they will raise the rates of consumers! It is hard to believe that even telecom lobbyists, well-paid to mislead Congress and regulators, could make this claim without smirking as cable bills have been rising at four times the rate of inflation. Now they claim to be concerned about consumer costs. Why? Because they want to protect their monopolies that allow them to gouge consumers and provide sub-par service. The telecoms remind us of the mafia: “If you reclassify the Internet as a public utility, it’s gonna cost you.” It is time to stand up to these bullies. The Internet community is strong enough to defeat them in any arena. And, the FCC will be able to control their costs if they reclassify because Title II gives the FCC the power to control the fees they charge.
We ended the day as we began it -- in the driveway outside of Tom Wheeler's house, but this visit was very different. A lot had happened since our first visit. President Obama spoke out in favor of everything we wanted: reclassification and net neutrality. He recognized the importance of equal access for all and the role of the Internet in encouraging creativity in the economy. After the president spoke out it was like a dam being opened. All sorts of key people, trade associations and corporations came out for reclassification and net neutrality. These new additions to the discussion showed a strong national consensus developing in favor of the proposals the net neutrality community has been urging. We decided to give Tom Wheeler and his wife a bottle of wine. In it we included the lyrics of the song "Which Side Are You On, Tom?" as well as a note saying "We are looking to support at Internet hero?" Wheeler came home, shook our hands and we had a friendly exchange, then we spoke about the national consensus that was developing and how the rulemaking proceeding had served an excellent role in helping to create that consensus.