Update 6/11: Net Neutrality rules have officially expired, but the fight to restore it continues. The FCC repeal is being challenged in court by state attorneys general, consumer advocacy groups, and tech companies. Democratic lawmakers are trying to reverse the repeal in Congress, and some states are imposing their own net neutrality rules.
In December, the FCC voted to rescind regulations that ensured net neutrality, the regulations that ensure equal access to information on the internet. Maine joined 16 other states in suing the FCC to defend net neutrality protections shortly afterwards, and with he support of both Senators Collins and King, the Senate just voted to restore net neutrality protections. The issue now heads to the House, where it faces greater opposition from Republicans. The internet was created with taxpayer money in the 60s and 70s through a government-funded project. Now it is a public resource that allows citizens to connect with friends, access news, promote their business, stream music and videos, and manage finances. All of that is at risk now that net neutrality has been rescinded, because the strong rules that barred internet service providers from favoring some content and sites over others by charging more or establishing “fast and slow lanes” for different sources are gone. Internet and media companies, including ones connected to political figures, can now censor what Americans view and read. Net neutrality is complex and has to do with whether the internet is classified as a public utility or a private service – and whether innovation and access are best served by a regulated or an unfettered internet. The internet is a public resource that supports democracy. It should not be handed over to private companies for profit. All Maine congressional representatives except for Bruce Poliquin opposed the FCC’s changes.
- Contact your Members of Congress:
CD2 folks: Urge Rep. Bruce Poliquin to support any and all efforts to restore net neutrality, and remind him that these rules are especially important for those who live in rural and remote areas. Share Susan Collins’s statement on how net neutrality is critical for rural consumers and small businesses: “Restoring the FCC’s net neutrality rules will ensure that the Internet will remain open and continue to be a powerful and transformative platform of innovation and economic opportunity. Net neutrality could also make it easier for broadband providers to expand service in higher-cost areas, such as rural Maine, by reestablishing FCC’s oversight over interconnection points that allow rural carriers to connect with the rest of the Internet. Without this protection, rural carriers’ ability to deploy broadband in underserved areas will be hindered, undermining efforts to bring adequate broadband to all Americans.”
CD1 folks: Thank Rep. Chellie Pingree for being a vocal defender of net neutrality. Ask her to encourage Rep. Poliquin to join her in supporting the Congressional Review Act resolution.
Thank Senators Collins and King for their support of the Congressional Review Act resolution. Ask them to take on the next step of crafting bipartisan legislation that makes net neutrality the law while encouraging innovation. This would stabilize the industry by removing the uncertainty about how the internet would be handled every time there is a new administration, and block the FCC from gutting net neutrality.
2. Share these images when you post about the issue on social media: