Unless you’ve been living under a rock — Patrick Star style — the term Net Neutrality has likely popped up on your news or social feeds. If you decided to keep scrolling because it’s too confusing to figure out, we don’t blame you.
In short, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will soon vote to reverse net neutrality rules originally set in place under President Barack Obama’s administration in 2015. This basically means internet providers will no longer be required to give consumers equal access to online content. (Here’s everything you need to know.)
The proposal was just announced, and no one’s been holding back on the internet to express how they really feel. Ironic, we know. Let’s take a look at a few responses, GIF-style.
Tim Berners-Lee, web inventor and founder of the World Wide Web Foundation:
“Do we want a web where cable companies determine winners and losers online? Where they decide which opinions we read, which creative ideas succeed? That’s not the web I want. To judge by support in opinion polls for upholding net neutrality, it’s not the web you want either.”
Jessica Rosenworcel, commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission:
“Our Internet economy is the envy of the world because it is open to all. This proposal tears at the foundation of that openness. It hands broadband providers the power to decide what voices to amplify, which sites we can visit, what connections we can make, and what communities we create.”
Eric Schneiderman, New York State Attorney General:
“The process the FCC has employed to consider potentially sweeping alterations to current net neutrality rules has been corrupted by the fraudulent use of Americans’ identities — and the FCC has been unwilling to assist my office in our efforts to investigate this unlawful activity. Specifically, for six months my office has been investigating who perpetrated a massive scheme to corrupt the FCC’s notice and comment process through the misuse of enormous numbers of real New Yorkers’ and other Americans’ identities.”
Meredith Attwell Baker, CTIA-The Wireless Association president and CEO:
“CTIA and the wireless industry commend FCC Chairman Pai for acting to free the Internet from investment-chilling utility style regulation. In doing so, Chairman Pai will restore the long-standing bipartisan approach to the Internet, which will help drive billions of new dollars into mobile broadband networks, boost our economy, and ensure that we continue to lead the world in mobile wireless services.”
Joan Marsh, AT&T executive vice president of regulatory and state external affairs:
“Importantly, the adoption of this order will restore the careful balance needed between ensuring internet freedom while continuing to attract private investment in broadband facilities – investment that is essential to delivering on the promise of broadband for all Americans.”
Kathy Grillo, Verizon senior vice president and deputy general counsel, public policy and government affairs:
“For decades, the internet flourished under a bipartisan regulatory approach that allowed it to operate, grow and succeed free of unnecessary government controls … Now, the FCC appears poised for a much-needed return to the approach that fostered so many years of internet openness and innovation,” Grillo told Digital Trends.
Corynne McSherry, legal director at Electronic Frontier Foundation:
“The FCC’s new approach invites a future where only the largest Internet, cable, and telephone companies survive, while every start-up, small business, and new innovator is crowded out—and the voices of nonprofits and ordinary individuals are suppressed. Costs will go up, as ISPs take advantage of monopoly power to raise rates on edge providers and consumers alike.”
Erin Egan, a vice president at Facebook:
“We are disappointed that the proposal announced today by the F.C.C. fails to maintain the strong net neutrality protections that will ensure the internet remains open for everyone.”
Harold Ford Jr., Broadband for America honorary co-chair:
“We strongly support the FCC plan to free the internet from 1930’s era over-regulation and usher in a new era of broadband investment, innovation, and job creation.”
Michael Powell, NCTA president and CEO:
“The draft order will not change how our companies view the freedoms intrinsic to internet service, but critically, it will correct the prior FCC’s mistake in relying on an outdated framework that elevates government micromanagement over market innovation and growth.”
Patty Murray, U.S. Senator:
“Net Neutrality is critical to ensuring the internet remains a place where people can come together, make their voices heard, & make change. We have to fight back.”
Jonathan Spalter, USTelecom CEO:
“FCC Chairman Pai’s proposal to restore the smart, common-sense, bipartisan policies that allowed the internet to flourish is a critical step toward closing the digital divide and ensuring net neutrality protections for all.”
Michael Beckerman, Internet Association president and CEO:
“The 2015 Order created bright-line, enforceable net neutrality protections that guarantee consumers access to the entire internet and preserve competition online. This proposal fails to achieve any of these objectives. Consumers have little choice in their ISP, and service providers should not be allowed to use this gatekeeper position at the point of connection to discriminate against websites and apps.”
Cinnamon Rogers, TIA senior vice president for government affairs:
“The FCC’s proposal, as outlined by the Chairman today, will improve the business case for deploying next-generation wireline and wireless broadband to meet growing consumer demand for connectivity, create high-paying jobs across the country, and enable new services powered by the Internet of Things.”
It’s clear that most companies are in favor of completely dismantling net neutrality, but there are still those staying hopeful that we’ll come together to save it. Voting doesn’t take place until December 14, so we’ll be adding more reactions until then.
Update: Added new reactions for the latest proposal to reverse net neutrality rules.