The rules came after a massive, year-long grassroots campaign involving over 5 million people from across the U.S. and around the globe. The campaign was organized by an inspiring coalition of open Internet groups, public interest groups, civil rights organizations and web companies.
Internet freedom organization OpenMedia, which yesterday parked a giant Jumbotron opposite the FCC to stream thousands of citizen comments, is hailing the FCC’s announcement as a landmark win for Internet users everywhere.
“This is a historic victory for the Internet and for Internet users everywhere,” said Josh Tabish, campaign manager for OpenMedia. “Let’s be clear about one thing: the telecom companies were looking for the legal tools to squeeze every last cent out of every last Internet user. But today, they lost those tools. This is because millions of Internet users, hundreds of tech companies, and dozens of public interest groups stayed vigilant for over a year.”
Tabish continued: “The little guy has won. This shows what’s possible when people come together and stand up against entrenched, powerful interests. The telecom lobby wields enormous influence in Washington which, for years, they’ve used to rig the system to keep prices high and to crush alternatives. But millions of us pulled together and proved that when the Internet stands united there’s nothing we cannot achieve.”
This morning’s order reclassifies Internet providers as common carriers, regulating them under Title II of the Communications Act - a key demand of the pro-Internet movement. It’s a huge step forward from nine months ago, when the FCC published an initial proposal that would have allowed slow lanes. Over 5 million people took part in the campaign, which saw more official comments submitted to the FCC than on any other docket.
Nearly 35,000 people submitted images, messages, videos, and memes which were displayed outside the FCC on OpenMedia’s Jumbotron yesterday. The wider campaign was described by The New York Times as “the longest, most sustained campaign of Internet activism in history”.
OpenMedia is now inviting people to submit messages to celebrate today’s landmark victory at https://StopTheSlowdown.net