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Reinstating net neutrality in the US
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/GeneralBy Amy Keating

Reinstating net neutrality in the US

Today, Mozilla together with other internet companies ADT, Dropbox, Eventbrite, Reddit, Vimeo, Wikimedia, sent a letter to the FCC asking the agency to reinstate net neutrality as a matter of urgency.

For almost a decade, Mozilla has defended user access to the internet, in the US and around the world. Our work to preserve net neutrality has been a critical part of that effort, including our lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to keep these protections in place for users in the US.

With the recent appointment of Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel to lead the agency, there will be a new opportunity to establish net neutrality rules at the federal level in the near future, ensuring that families and businesses across the country can enjoy these fundamental rights.

Net neutrality preserves the environment that allowed the internet to become an engine for economic growth. In a marketplace where users frequently do not have access to more than one internet service provider (ISP), these rules ensure that data is treated equally across the network by gatekeepers. More specifically, net neutrality prevents ISPs from leveraging their market power to slow, block, or prioritize content–ensuring that users can freely access ideas and services without unnecessary roadblocks. Without these rules in place, ISPs can make it more difficult for new ideas or applications to succeed, potentially stifling innovation across the internet.

The need for net neutrality protections has become even more apparent during the pandemic. In a moment where classrooms and offices have moved online by necessity, it is critically important to have rules paired with strong government oversight and enforcement to protect families and businesses from predatory practices. In California, residents will have the benefit of these fundamental safeguards as a result of a recent court decision that will allow the state to enforce its state net neutrality law. However, we believe that users nationwide deserve the same ability to control their own online experiences.

While there are many challenges that need to be resolved to fix the internet, reinstating net neutrality is a crucial down payment on the much broader internet reform that we need. Net neutrality is good for people and for personal expression. It is good for business, for innovation, for our economic recovery. It is good for the internet. It has long enjoyed bipartisan support among the American public. There is no reason to further delay its reinstatement once the FCC is in working order.