Title II Fans Celebrate Big Victory

Say Grassroots Efforts Helped New Rules Take Hold

Title II proponents applauded the FCC's reclassification vote Thursday, both via cheers and standing ovations at the meeting itself and in statements that flooded reporters' inboxes.

“Big Telecom just lost – and it lost because millions of grassroots activists spoke out for Net Neutrality,” said Becky Bond, political director and vice president at CREDO Mobile. “Today’s vote marks the culmination of over a decade of organizing to protect the Internet from a corporate takeover.”

“Republicans in Congress will no doubt spend years trying to roll back the progress we made today,” Bond said. “But today’s vote makes it clear that telecom giants and their allies in Congress should expect fierce and overwhelming resistance when they attack the open Internet.”

CREDO Mobile backed various e-mail campaigns and petitions supporting Title II.

“Today's vote is the biggest win for the public interest in the FCC’s history," said Free Press president Craig Aaron. "It's the culmination of a decade of dedicated grassroots organizing and advocacy. Millions of people came to the defense of the open Internet to tell Washington, in no uncertain terms, that the Internet belongs to all of us and not just a few greedy phone and cable companies. We applaud Chairman Wheeler, Commissioner Rosenworcel and Commissioner Clyburn for voting for real Net Neutrality today. They were willing to listen to the facts in the face of a fiercely dishonest industry lobbying effort. But this is really a victory for the millions and millions of people who expect the Internet to be an open engine for free speech and innovation."

Public Knowledge was hailing the FCC as defender of the Internet universe.

“After an unprecedented outpouring of public support, today the FCC voted to enact the strongest net neutrality rules in history. By embracing its Title II authority and creating clear, bright-line rules against blocking and discrimination, chairman Wheeler and the FCC have earned a reputation as defenders of an Open Internet, said Michael Weinberg, senior vice president of Public Knowledge.

The Writers Guild of America East praised the decision.

“The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO, has supported net neutrality from the beginning and applauds today’s vote by the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act," WGAE said in a statement. "As a union of creative professionals, over the years we have mobilized our members to ask the Federal Communications Commission to embody the principles of net neutrality in solid policy language and meaningful, enforceable rules. We joined millions of Americans who took action to protect an open Internet. What has been accomplished today will prevent powerful media and technology giants from treating the Internet like a private toll road, with the speediest lanes reserved for those with the deepest pockets."

"Popular victories like today’s are so unusual that three Congressional committees are investigating how this happened," said David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress. "If the net neutrality effort had followed the usual playbook, if Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T had defeated the American people, nobody would be wondering why.”

House and Senate Republicans are investigating whether the White House asserted undue influence on the Title II decision--the President urged the FCC to adopt Title II. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has said the FCC made the decision independently.

“This is an incredible moment for so many artists and independent labels who fought to preserve an open and accessible Internet for almost a decade," said Future of Music Coalition CEO Casey Rae. "Creators of all political persuasions and backgrounds embody the very spirit of what net neutrality supporters have sought to achieve in this fight: the ability to compete on a level playing field without discrimination from just a few powerful ISPs. This historic day is a testament to what can be achieved when the creative community comes together with a diverse array of advocates and activists to stand up for free expression and entrepreneurship. We are proud and grateful to see the results of principled and sustained engagement on an issue that will shape the future of music for generations to come."

“America’s libraries collect, create and disseminate essential information to the public over the Internet, and ensure our users are able to access the Internet and create and distribute their own digital content and applications," said American Library Association President Courtney Young. "Network neutrality is essential to meeting our mission in serving America’s communities. Today’s FCC vote in favor of strong, enforceable net neutrality rules is a win for students, creators, researchers and learners of all ages.”

Some of the above activist groups and others are even getting together to toast the vote. Public Knowledge, Free Press, ColorOfChange.org, Common Cause, CREDO Action, Daily Kos, Demand Progress, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, the Internet Archive, the Media Action Grassroots Network, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, the OpenTechnology Institute, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee are hosting a Victory for the Net party in Washington Thursday night.