Posted on May 11, 2017
CREDO is the only mobile phone company fighting for net neutrality
Net neutrality is a very personal issue for CREDO. As a mobile phone company that fights for progressive values, we know the importance of protecting the internet and internet users.
For more than a decade, we have been fighting to protect the free and open internet with net neutrality – the principle that internet providers must treat all users’ content equally. In 2015, after we donated over 1 million dollars and hundreds of thousands of CREDO members and millions of others took action to protect the open internet, we scored a huge victory that secured these basic protections for all internet users. No other mobile phone company can claim this victory. In fact, many mobile and internet companies have been actively opposing these important protections.
Just as telephone companies connect callers without regard to how much they can pay, the internet under net neutrality is classified as a protected utility. Under net neutrality, internet providers can’t block content, slow traffic or create “fast lanes” to prioritize websites whose owners pay more. Net neutrality protects our privacy, helps keep broadband prices competitive and makes it possible for new companies to innovate. A free and open internet also allows communities not fairly represented in the media to tell their own stories and organize online for progressive change.
Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, who has close ties to the ISP and telecom industries, is now trying to destroy net neutrality. With only a single pro-net neutrality voice left on Trump’s FCC and after Republicans in Congress recently voted to repeal internet privacy rules, we know the fight will be even harder this time around – but we aren’t backing down.
Defending net neutrality has been a long fight for us, going all the way back to when George W. Bush deregulated broadband and opened the door for big corporations to discriminate on the internet. We’ve taken on both Democrats and Republicans in this flight, and there was an enormous amount of money spent lobbying against us.
And we realize that protecting internet users from corporate abuse will be an ongoing battle. After a historic court victory in 2016 upholding net neutrality, CREDO CEO Ray Morris knew this fight would be far from over:
We’re proud of the part we’ve played in this victory. We also know from experience that our victories are rarely permanent… We will have to defend these rules again in the future, and with your help we will continue the fight to protect the internet from corporate control.
On May 18, the FCC will vote to open a new rulemaking process on net neutrality, beginning the process of reversing our hard-fought victory. Over the coming months, the FCC will be taking public comments on its plans. CREDO and our members – along with our partners and allies – will be loud and clear in our support for net neutrality.
Fighting for net neutrality isn’t just good business for CREDO and its customers, it’s at the core of our progressive values, and we will continue fighting to protect and defend the free and open Internet on two fronts. As a social justice organization, we’re engaging hundreds of thousands of activists in the fight to save net neutrality, making thousands of phone calls directly to FCC commissioners and rallying with our allies at Free Press Action Fund and others at the FCC’s doorstep. As a business, we unequivocally support the right to connect and communicate on the internet without facing interference or discrimination, and we will do everything in our power to provide the best service possible to our customers.