Pledge to #CutTheCord to save Net Neutrality on December 14th
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On December 14th, 2017, Ajit Pai's Federal Communications Commission will vote to strike down protections for Net Neutrality, killing the free and open internet.
Behind this push are the Telecommunications industry and the big Internet Service Providers (ISPs), including Pai's former employer Verizon, who all stand to make a killing. The new rules will allow ISPs to slow traffic or restrict access to individual
websites at their own discretion, and to charge extra for regular access. This will create a far more restrictive and expensive internet.
Calling Congress and the FCC WILL NOT WORK, because ultimately the telecom industry is the driving force behind the vote, and corporations respond to only one kind of pressure: threats to their profits.
With this in mind, #CutTheCord aims to attack the problem at its source, by cutting off the money we as consumers provide to the corporations behind this effort.
By signing this pledge, you are agreeing to:
1. Call your Internet Service Provider between now and the vote to inform them of your intention to cancel service on December 14th if Net Neutrality protections are struck down.
2. Actually follow through by canceling your service on the 14th should the protections be voted down. If you work from home or otherwise require internet service in your home for your livelihood, and cannot commit to canceling your service, DO NOT SIGN THE PLEDGE.
3. Refuse to pay any early cancellation fees that your ISP attempts to pin on you. Most ISPs have some form of formal complaint system through which you can dispute charges. If you file a complaint, mention the #CutTheCord campaign.
We are not making an empty threat. If you sign this pledge, you may end up needing to go without home internet service for quite a while. Find ways to plan around that.
The ISPs need to be convinced that people would rather have no internet at all than an internet completely compromised by the end of Net Neutrality. They need to feel this in their wallets. If enough people cut off the money supply to the forces trying to kill of Net Neutrality, they may be persuaded to leave the protections in place. If you can sign the pledge, thank you for your commitment and sacrifice.
What exactly are you asking me to pledge?
All that we ask is that you pledge to cut your home internet service, and call your ISP ahead of time to announce your intention to do so. We are keeping the campaign solely focused on home internet service so that nobody is forced to completely cut themselves off from access to the internet. However, if you are willing and able to go further by canceling mobile service or otherwise cutting access entirely, we certainly won't dissuade you.
How am I supposed to survive without the internet?
Plan around losing access at home. Think of ways you can get what you need done by accessing the internet at work or via public wifi hotspots. We recognize that internet access is an important cornerstone of modern life, which is why this fight is so important. However, you may end up finding that limiting your internet access can be beneficial for your mental health. You may also find it very therapeutic to tell your ISP to stuff it.
I can't cut my service but I would still like to help. What can I do?
You can share the pledge on social media. We realize that not everyone has the ability to suspend their home internet service indefinitely due to working from home or otherwise requiring access for their livelihood. We do believe that there are enough people out there who can cut service, and you can help us to reach them.
How long would I be expected to cut service for?
This is still to be decided. The first step is getting enough people to pledge that we can actually get the attention of the ISPs. If protections are stuck down, there will be an interim period before the new rules take effect, which may be a good time to apply continued pressure by getting more people to cut their service.
I've already called my Congressman and been to a March, why do I need to do this too?
While traditional strategies are still worth pursuing, we started this initiative because we believe that tactics that don't attack the profit motive at the source of this push will be unlikely to have much effect. Regardless of what they tell you, members of Congress and the FCC do not have any profound ideological commitment to ending Net Neutrality. They want to end it because that's what they're being paid to do by the ISPs. As consumers, we have the ability to cut off that money at the source through boycotts.
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