Outside Publication

Net Neutrality Day of Action: Why Not in Europe?

July 14, 2017

Net Neutrality is the concept that everyone should have equal access to all online content (email, video, music, websites) without Internet providers being able to throttle, block, or discriminate against any type of content.

It is in jeopardy in the United States. At least this was the impression everyone could get going online on July 12. Public interest groups, website operators, trade associations, entrepreneurs, the ACLU, video creators, social media subscribers, and thousands of consumers posted messages opposing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to undo its 2015 Internet Order reclassifying broadband providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act. The Day of Action (DOA) participants urged people to tell the FCC and Congress to preserve net neutrality and an open internet. There were 688,848 filings posted at the FCC in the relevant docket by late afternoon, pushing the cumulative total to over 6.7 million. Mark Zuckerberg posted a note of support on his personal Facebook page. Fifty mayors signed a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The FCC’s plan to repeal the classification under Title II and the net neutrality rules “poses a significant risk of stifling American innovation and harming local economies across the country,” the letter states.

Of Counsel Axel Spies authored this commentary for the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS).

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