Press Releases

Activists Decry FCC Vote to Dismantle Net Neutrality

More than 1 million public comments and grassroots actions have flooded in against FCC Chair Ajit Pai’s plans to roll back Title II net neutrality rules in recent weeks. 

Activists pledge to hold accountable any in Congress, the FCC, and the White House who do not mount strong opposition to Pai’s net neutrality rollback.

May 18, 2017
Contact: Pierce Stanley, (202) 350-0454
[email protected]

Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines to begin the effort by Trump-appointed FCC Chair Ajit Pai to dismantle hard-fought net neutrality rules protecting the open internet.

In the lead-up to the vote, supporters of the open internet poured in more than 1 million public comments and grassroots actions in opposition to Pai’s plan and in favor of strong Title II net neutrality rules.

Demand Progress is releasing the following statement, attributable to Demand Progress Campaign Director Kurt Walters: 

A free and open internet is an essential ingredient for a healthy democracy – and the past few weeks have shown the American public is ready to fight passionately to defend it.

“Trump’s FCC Chair – and former Verizon lawyer – Ajit Pai may think Big Cable’s interests are more important than the public’s, but it’s clear that few outside of boardrooms at Comcast or AT&T agree.

“With 1 million public comments and grassroots actions flooding in to protect Title II net neutrality, Pai’s plan for corporate control of the internet is not just wildly unpopular it is driving a massive public mobilization to defend the open internet.

“Anyone in Congress, the FCC, or the White House failing to unequivocally oppose this plan to kill net neutrality will be grabbing the new third rail of U.S. politics with both hands. Demand Progress activists and our coalition will mobilize to ensure they are held accountable.

“After today’s vote, the American public will continue to fight back against Ajit Pai’s effort to kill net neutrality every step of the way.”

From the moment Trump’s FCC Chair Ajit Pai announced his attack on net neutrality, Demand Progress has:

  • Helped organize the more than 1 million public comments and grassroots actions in opposition to Pai’s plan. This includes comments filed directly to the FCC, submitted comments organized by activist groups, and comments and petition signatures that have not yet been submitted because of the FCC’s “sunshine” rules.
  • Re-launched alongside Fight For the Future, a hub for grassroots activism in defense of strong net neutrality rules that played a key role in winning the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order.
  • Co-organized a broad coalition of more than 24 allied organizations in defense of a free and open internet.
  • Demand Progress members alone have generated more than 160,000 public comments, petition signatures, and phone calls to Congress in support of net neutrality in recent weeks.
  • Helped drive attendance for the Thursday, May 18 rally at the FCC in support of the open internet.
The outpouring of opposition to Pai’s proposal follows a track record of activists “using the internet to save the internet.” Online activists famously melted down congressional phone lines in the successful fight to stop SOPA and PIPA in 2011 and helped drive a record 3.7 million FCC comments to win strong net neutrality rules in 2015.