Today, you may have noticed that a whole bunch of your favorite websites (us included!) are participating in a symbolic “Internet Slowdown.” This day of action brings together a very diverse group of companies, organizations, and individuals to stand up for real net neutrality. Net neutrality is the principle that all legitimate web traffic should be treated equally by internet service providers; it’s fundamental to how the internet can function as a democratic platform where all voices can be heard. But a January court ruling threw out the FCC’s open internet rules, and the FCC’s current proposal would set up a system which could allow paid prioritization.
Imagine a future where the wealthiest companies have priority access to music fans, while everyone else is stuck in the slow lane. That would compromise the promise of the level playing field offered by the open internet, especially for independent creators, who increasingly rely on the internet to reach audiences and sell merchandise.
And without net neutrality, only the music services that can afford to make backroom deals with big cable companies will get prioritized. We’d rather see a flourishing of innovative licensed music services competing to better serve the needs of musicians and fans.
We’re proud to have been strong supporters of net neutrality even before the concept had a name, and couldn’t be more excited to see this movement grow. But while today’s headlines may focus on the participation of big companies like Netflix, Tumblr, and Reddit, it’s worth remembering that musicians, songwriters, and independent artists are among those most impacted by these debates. That’s why musicians from Fugazi to Neko Case, from R.E.M. to Tune-Yards, from Antibalas to The Wrens have already stood up in support of real net neutrality. And it’s why a whole host of arts and cultural organizations representing members in all 50 states have called for the strongest possible rules.
And while the FCC has already received a million comments (almost all in support of stronger regulations) it’s still important to raise your voice. Here’s some easy ways you can get involved.
- Join the #InternetSlowdown! Tools and resources are available here.
- Contact the FCC. Reply comments are due by next Monday! Find more info about the reply comment process here.
- Attend our Policy Summit on October 27-28. is always the destination for the best in-depth discussion of policy issues that impact the music community, and this year is no exception. There’s going to be some dynamite discussion on “Stopping Cable (And Telecom) F**kery” and some killer keynotes to be announced. Register today!