The ability to organize grassroots movements, whether locally or across the globe, is made possible by an open Internet. Since its creation, the Internet has become the world’s megaphone for free speech, protected by the principles of Net Neutrality, which require internet service providers (ISPs) to give everyone equal access to everything you use the internet for -- email, watching videos, listening to music, or signing petitions on Change.org.
Without Net Neutrality, ISPs can choose what you see online, favoring some sources or blocking others. For example, if someone launched a petition on Change.org against a company like Verizon, Net Neutrality prevents Verizon from blocking or slowing their customers’ access to our site.
In December of 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 to repeal net neutrality rules -- giving big cable companies room to charge extra fees, block and censor users. By removing ISPs from Title II of the Communications Act, a rule that means ISPs are subjected to tougher regulations that prevent them blocking sites, creating paid “fast” lanes, and throttling internet speeds. This decision will have global implications for the way the world shares and receives information from journalists, newsrooms, and NGO’s.
However, following the FCC’s vote, Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) announced a Congressional Review Act resolution that if passed, would stop net neutrality repeal. That resolution now has the support of 50 senate members, which means just one more vote is needed for it to pass the Senate.
Net Neutrality also prevents ISPs from creating paid “fast lanes” that would give faster delivery of content to companies who can afford to pay more. An organization or platform like Change.org that couldn’t afford those fees, couldn’t communicate with their supporters.
In the United States, there is strong bipartisan support for Net Neutrality. A recent poll conducted by Mozilla found that Republicans, Democrats and Independents overwhelmingly support these rules.
At Change.org, we believe that people everywhere should have the tools they need to make their voices heard. We’re a social good company powered by technology that empowers anyone anywhere to take action on the issues they care about. A closed off Internet means fewer ways for millions of people to make the change they want to see.
Without an internet equally accessible to everyone regardless of income or geography, we can’t continue that mission. Add your name to let Congress and the FCC know that you support an open internet.