The internet is at risk today as the Senate debates a resolution that would strip the FCC of its rulemaking authority to preserve its openness. S.J. Res. 6, similar to a House measure passed in April, needs only a simple majority to pass. The vote, expected Thursday, November 11, is likely to be very close.
Back in November 2010, the FCC’s approved rules to prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs), from blocking, slowing or restricting access to lawful sites and services based on business or other preferences. Not only is this crucial for consumers, it is important to musicians and other entrepreneurs who need to compete in a legitimate digital marketplace. Thousands of musicians from every conceivable background have gone on the record in support of an open and accessible internet. Check out our Rock the Net page to see their perspectives.
The White House has threatened to veto the resolution, which we applaud. However, we also think the Congressional record needs to reflect support of these basic and necessary rules. In our view, Congress should champion a competitive, accessible internet where artists can reach audiences directly and do business right alongside the biggest companies. Stripping the FCC’s ability to enforce these core principles runs counter to the values shared by members on both sides of the aisle, as well as prior and current FCC leadership.
Last week, FMC, Fractured Atlas and the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture sent a letter to Congressional Senate leadership strongly urging against a broad repudiation of the Commission’s Order (you can read it here). From musicians to filmmakers to writers to independent labels to arts and service organizations, today’s creative community depends on the internet to conduct business and contribute to the rich tapestry that is American culture.
The clock is ticking, but it’s not too late to make your voice heard.
We hope President Obama never needs to pull out that veto pen to defend an open and accessible internet.