UPDATED with more reactions: The Internet’s outrage machine cranked into high gear today, offering a searing rebuke of the FCC’s proposal to repeal net neutrality rules.
FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel circulated a statement (on Twitter) that criticized the sweeping proposal, saying it would wipe out court-tested rules and a decade’s work to favor cable and telephone companies.
“This is ridiculous and offensive to the millions of Americans who use the Internet,” Rosenworcel said. In a tweet, she added, “Let’s make a ruckus.”
The WGA West issued a statement condemning FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to repeal the rules that protect the open Internet, saying such a move would benefit powerful corporations at the expense of the general public.
“Chairman Pai’s plan to end net neutrality is yet another step on the path towards total corporate control of the Internet. Pai’s intention to gut net neutrality rules has been evident since day one, and the rulemaking process has completely ignored the overwhelming public support for these rules and the unequivocal benefits of an open Internet,” the WGA said in a statement.
Added WGA East: “The FCC has delivered a death blow to the Internet as we know it – a place where culturally and economically diverse voices shared equal opportunity and where wealthy, powerful gatekeepers didn’t get to decide what people read and watch. Millions of Americans spoke in strong support of net neutrality and the FCC has ignored them all.”
The father of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, added his voice to the debate, calling on “everyone” to join him in fighting to preserve net neutrality.
Comedian Patton Oswalt posted Pai’s phone number and email to Twitter, urging advocates of the free and open Internet to “call and bombard” the chairman.
It’s not as if the White House didn’t signal its intentions. Even before the FCC adopted its net neutrality rules — which require Internet service providers to treat all data the same, without disruption or discriminatory treatment — candidate Donald Trump trashed the rules.
That jibes with other backers of Pai’s plan, like the FreedomWorks Foundation, which said it submitted nearly 30,000 comments in support of the proposed order.
“This Thanksgiving, we are truly thankful for Republican leadership at FCC under Chairman Pai,” FreedomWorks’ Regulatory Action Center director Ken Cuccinelli said today. “From all we’ve heard, this order will go a long way in restoring regulation of the Internet back to the bipartisan light-touch framework that worked for two decades prior to the unprecedented and unnecessary 2015 order.”
Netflix filed formal comments with the FCC this summer, calling on the FCC to preserve enforceable protections to promote an Internet that is free from blocking, throttling or engaging in paid prioritization.
“Netflix supports strong net neutrality,” the company said in a statement. “We oppose the FCC’s proposal to roll back these core protections.”