After Winning Historic Victory, Net Neutrality Activists Must Defend Against Coming Industry Attacks

Posted March 4, 2015

MP3 Interview with Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the media democracy FreePress.net, conducted by Scott Harris

netneutrality

A long grassroots battle to establish net neutrality rules was won on Feb. 26 when the Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 to approve new regulations that reclassified broadband Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act. The new rules prohibit Internet Service Providers – including cellular carriers – from blocking, slowing down or speeding up online traffic or giving priority to Web services in exchange for payment.

This victory for net neutrality advocates seemed unlikely less than a year ago when in May, 2014 FCC Chair Tom Wheeler proposed a tiered Internet where a fee-based system would determine the speed at which content would be delivered to consumers, a lucrative gift to telcom giants like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. Public opposition to Wheeler’s proposal came in a flood of four million comments sent to the FCC objecting to the pay to play scheme. After President Obama announced his support for net neutrality rules under Title II, Wheeler switched his position, paving the way for the late February vote.

Now that the new rules have been approved, the cable and telecom industries are poised to file lawsuits and pressure Congress to pass legislation that will disable or weaken net neutrality regulations. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the media democracy group FreePress.net, one of the nation’s leading net neutrality advocacy groups. Here, he discusses the significance of the recent FCC victory and the need for activists to stay vigilant to confront the coming industry attacks.

For more information on the free press media democracy group visit, FreePress.net.

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