Sen. Ron Wyden: Your Voice Is Needed in the Net Neutrality Fight

Two years ago we accomplished something amazing together. Nearly 4 million people across the country called on the FCC to put in place strong Net Neutrality rules to protect the internet as a tool for innovation, creativity and free speech. And we won.

Now the free and open internet is once again under attack as Trump’s FCC, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, is threatening to roll back these crucial protections. If Pai gets his way, massive cable and phone companies will have the power to control what we see and do online, creating “fast lanes” for those who can afford to pay — and leaving the rest of us in the dust.

Net Neutrality rules have governed the internet since its inception, creating a space for free expression to flourish and for startups and small businesses to challenge huge legacy companies. Abandoning control of the internet to the handful of companies that provide broadband service would allow them to bury the speech of those they don’t agree with and kill competition from startups before they even get off the ground.

Despite Pai’s claim that he supports Net Neutrality, the proceeding he opened last month attacks not only the legal authority underpinning the rules — which is absolutely vital for enforcing them — but seeks to overturn these protections altogether. If Pai gets his way, Net Neutrality will be gone for good and people will be left with only the empty promises of big cable companies to protect them online.

This administration has gone after so many crucial consumer protections that we have fought for, from ending exploitative prison-phone rates to banning your internet service provider from selling your personal data. Trump isn’t working for anyone besides the corporate lobbyists and millionaires that are filling his administration.

We’ve fought and won this battle before and we can do so again. But it’s going to take all of us working together. I will do my best working with my colleagues in the Senate to protect internet freedom, but we’ll need all of your voices engaged and ready to fight.

Ron Wyden is the senior U.S. senator from Oregon.