Mozilla took the next step today in the fight to defend the web and consumers from the FCC’s attack on an open internet. Together with other petitioners, Mozilla filed our reply brief in our case challenging the FCC’s elimination of critical net neutrality protections that require internet providers to treat all online traffic equally.
The fight for net neutrality, while not a new one, is an important one. We filed this case because we believe that the internet works best when people control for themselves what they see and do online.
The FCC’s removal of net neutrality rules is not only bad for consumers, it is also unlawful. The protections in place were the product of years of deliberation and careful fact-finding that proved the need to protect consumers, who often have little or no choice of internet provider. The FCC is simply not permitted to arbitrarily change its mind about those protections based on little or no evidence. It is also not permitted to ignore its duty to promote competition and protect the public interest. And yet, the FCC’s dismantling of the net neutrality rules unlawfully removes long standing rules that have ensured the internet provides a voice for everyone.
Meanwhile, the FCC’s defenses of its actions and the supporting arguments of large cable and telco company ISPs, who have come to the FCC’s aid, are misguided at best. They mischaracterize the internet’s technical structure as well as the FCC’s mandate to advance internet access, and they ignore clear evidence that there is little competition among ISPs. They repeatedly contradict themselves and have even introduced new justifications not outlined in the FCC’s original decision to repeal net neutrality protections.
Nothing we have seen from the FCC since this case began has changed our mind. Our belief in this action remains as strong as it was when its plan to undo net neutrality protections last year was first met with outcry from consumers, small businesses and advocates across the country.
We will continue to do all that we can to support an open and vibrant internet that is a resource accessible to all. We look forward to making our arguments directly before the D.C. Court of Appeals and the public. FCC, we’ll see you in court on February 1.