TAKE ACTION: Tell the FCC to Save the Open Internet

 VICTORY! On February 26, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to adopt strong Net Neutrality rules that use the FCC’s authority under Title II of the Communication Act to prohibit blocking, throttling and paid prioritization online. These are  the strongest Open Internet rules that the FCC has ever put forth. More than 4 million people and countless civil rights leaders spoke out, and the FCC listened.

For Latinos and other people of color, the Open Internet has been an important tool to educate ourselves, organize for social change, engage in the political process and push back against a history of discrimination and exclusion in traditional media . With the new rules, we are now protected against unfair practices by Internet Service Providers (ISPs): they cannot block or slow down websites, or give larger corporations an unfair advantage.

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The adoption of these rules is not only a historic moment for preserving the openness of the nation’s communications networks, but a historic victory won by NHMC and countless allies after nearly 10 years of sustained advocacy.

Last year, the D.C. Circuit Court struck down the FCC’s first attempt to craft Open Internet rules in Verizon v. FCC, based on the legal authority the FCC had utilized.  However, the court recognized the value and need for Open Internet rules and laid out reclassification under Title II as a viable path to sustain such rules.

Shortly thereafter, NHMC and a coalition of civil rights groups, netroots and grassroots organizers, startups and innovative companies and investors, and some of the sharpest legal and political minds in the country initiated a campaign calling for the FCC to craft new Open Internet rules under Title II of the Communications Act, seeking strong, legally sustainable rules to prevent discrimination online and ensure the future of the Internet would be controlled by the people, not corporate gatekeepers. During this time, NHMC worked in close collaboration with its allies in the Voices for Internet Freedom Coalition, including Free PressColorOfChange.org, the Media Action Grassroots Network, Presente.org, and many others.

As a result of this unprecedented movement, millions of people were mobilized to stand up for their Internet rights, weighing in with key decision-makers in Washington, D.C. and contributing to the most extensive record ever compiled by the FCC in its history. Through countless meetings, regulatory filings, congressional testimony, blog posts, op-eds, discussion panels, briefings and rallies across the country NHMC and its allies built momentum and support in Washington, D.C., culminating in President Barack Obama’s announcement in support of Net Neutrality in November 2014.