The WGA East has added its name to the growing list of opponents of FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to repeal the rules that require net neutrality. The FCC plans to vote in two weeks to repeal the rules – a move that has been denounced in recent days by a broad range of critics including Cher, Mark Ruffalo and Kumail Nanjiani.
“Perhaps it is not surprising that the question of who rules access to the digital highway system has become so sharply politicized,” the guild said in a statement today. “Online computer and mobile access to viewers and readers, to consumers and voters, to business users and families, is perhaps the most contested terrain in the modern economy and political system. Ensuring that all comers are treated the same, regardless of the content of their views or the depths of their pockets, is the hallmark of rational policy. It is the basis of the Commission’s current net neutrality rules, rules which are viable and enforceable only under Title II, as the appellate courts have made crystal clear.”
The guild urged the FCC to cancel its December 14 vote “and respect the will of the majority of Americans to keep current rules in place.”
“The major content creation entities – studios and networks, in particular – rake in record-breaking profits, as do the Internet Service Providers and massive tech giants like Google and Amazon,” the guild said. “If anything, the Commission should be crafting policies to reduce the power of these massive gatekeepers, rather than freeing them to exercise their power to dominate the Internet.
“It is precisely the principles of net neutrality, including no-blocking and non-discrimination rules and restrictions on fast-lane pricing and preferences that have served to restrain the enormously powerful and profitable media, telecommunications, and technology giants that would otherwise rule the Internet. Enforceable rules that preclude these vast enterprises from stifling their competitors are what has fostered the explosion of innovation and opportunity that characterizes the current period.”