The Federal Communications Commission’s meeting at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Thursday is expected to spell the end for net neutrality, as Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to repeal the consumer protections is favored by three Republicans on the five-member board.
While many supporters of a free and open internet have been engaging in a web-based protest over the past 24 hours, it’s essential that Republicans in Congress realize how badly voters want the internet to stay the way it is.
While it’s likely the measure will be removed, Congress could step in and call for legislation that would make net neutrality protections into laws, rather than regulations controlled by the whomever is running the FCC. Several Democratic lawmakers have already come out in opposition of the FCC’s plan.
Who You Contact About Net Neutrality
Advocates for the preservation of net neutrality — which makes sure that all web content is treated equally — are calling on people to actually call congress about it, but you can also send an email. Also: You can use callyourrep.co to find out the contact info for your representative. When you call, a junior staffer will likely answer the line. If someone picks up, ask to speak to a legislative aide in charge of telecommunications or internet policy. If they’re not available, ask if you can leave them a message. If nobody picks up, be sure to leave a message too. Make a point to be specific in your message; say that you oppose Ajit Pai’s plan to repeal the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order.
In terms of affecting the regulations, Pai will likely only be responsive to pressure from members of his own party, most of whom have been silent on the issue of net neutrality up until now. However, five GOP members have voiced their opposition to deregulating the web, and Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman even went further Tuesday, urging the FCC to delay its vote in a letter. It’s possible that more will Republicans be encouraged to voice an opposition to the FCC’s plan if they hear from their constituents.
Josh Tabish, from the non-profit Fight For the Future, wrote this handy Medium article that lists all the Republican lawmakers who haven’t spoken out about net neutrality. His post also includes a links for each lawmaker that direct you to an auto-created tweet asking them to delay Thursday’s vote.
The list includes notable Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, and Paul Ryan.