Net Activists Plan Rally Before Pai Field Hearing

Say They Will Insure They are Heard During Forum

Free Press said Tuesday that, along with Common Cause and Center for Media Justice, it is planning a rally outside the Oct. 21 network neutrality field hearing in College Station, Tex., hosted by Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai. 

The hearing is at 10 a.m., the rally at 9.

According to Timothy Karr, campaign director for Free Press, they have been pushing the FCC for months to host hearings on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposed new rules. "[As of now, this event is the only one of its kind on the calendar...[Commisssioner] Pa, who opposes Net Neutrality protections, is at least willing to hear from the public."

Karr also said it would make sure fans of "strong Internet protections" would have a chance to speak out during the forum as well as in advance of it.

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) did hold a net neutrality field hearing last month, attended by Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn.

The FCC also held a series of forums in Washington on a variety of network neutrality legal and technical issues. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, in arguing that the FCC did not to make the geographic shift to solicit input--has pointed out those events were streamed and open to input nationwide--and worldwide, for that matter--via the very technology at issue.