? With your help, we passed Title II net neutrality protections. Now we need to defend it.?
On December 14 the FCC will vote on Commissioner Pai’s plan to repeal Title II rules. This week he tried to justify that decision with a “myth busting” explainer where he makes a lot of sweeping claims he doesn’t think you’ll fact check.
So let’s go through his big points:
❌ Mr. Pai claims ISPs won’t block access or throttle content
These are the real facts. Before Title II, the internet was so “free and open” that…
- Comcast blocked P2P file sharing services (EFF).
- AT&T blocked Skype from iPhones (Fortune) and, later, wanted FaceTime users to pay for a more expensive plan (Freepress).
- MetroPCS blocked all streaming video except YouTube (Wired).
In today’s media market where the same huge companies make and deliver content, Commissioner Pai wants us to trust that corporations won’t use their dominance to bury competitive content or services.
❌ Mr. Pai claims Title II keeps ISPs from building new networks
Here’s another claim Commissioner Pai doesn’t want you to fact check, but:
- AT&T’s own CEO told investors that the company would deploy more fiber optic networks in 2016 than 2015 when the FCC passed Title II protections (Investor call transcript).
- Charter’s CEO said “Title II, it didn’t really hurt us; it hasn’t hurt us” (Ars Technica).
- And Comcast actually increased investment in their network by 10% in Q1 of this year (Ars).
❌ Mr. Pai claims repealing Title II won’t hurt competition
As we mentioned above, ISPs tried to interfere with the services their customers could access and courts had to step in to stop them.
The FCC tried to craft net neutrality rules in 2010 called the Open Internet Order but the ISPs sued and won. The courts told the FCC that the only way to guarantee a free and open internet was using their Title II authority. Without those protections, any of these things would be legal:
- Your ISP launches a streaming video service and starts throttling other streaming services until they’re unusable.
- Your phone company cuts a deal with a popular music streaming service so it doesn’t count towards your data cap but lowers your overall data limit. If a better service comes along (or your favorite artist releases new tracks somewhere else) you can’t use it without incurring huge data fees.
- A billionaire buys your ISP and blocks access to news sites that challenge their ideology.
Repealing Title II would be like letting a car company own the roads and banning a competitor from the highways.
❌ Mr. Pai claims there won’t be fast lanes and slow lanes
Let’s break this down: We won’t have fast lanes and slow lanes, we’ll have “priority access” and…non-priority access? Well gosh.
? Please help us protect Title II one more time! ?
This week we co-signed a letter with more than 300 other companies—businesses Mr. Pai gleefully ignores—urging the FCC to retain the Title II internet protections. Now we need you.
Go to ? Battle For The Net ? to start a call with your representatives in Congress. Tell them to publicly support Title II protections.
The FCC votes on December 14.
We’re only powerful when we work together.
Oh, also: that post about automatically unfollowing the #net neutrality tag—it’s not true. It’s really not. That’s not who we are. Whatever happened, we haven’t been able to reproduce it. We tried. A lot.
But if it were true—which it’s not, we feel compelled to say again—THAT’S EXACTLY WHY YOU SHOULD CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES and demand a free, open, and neutral internet.
We can do this one more time, guys! ❤️