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Because we can’t take a step forward without being shoved back into a muddy puddle almost immediately, the FCC overturned net neutrality yesterday, as was widely expected. Three Republican men on the five person FCC panel made the decision to dismantle consumer protections and disable a free and open internet despite widespread bipartisan outcry against it. I watched the entire hearing yesterday and all of the panelists who voted to overturn Net Neutrality characterized the opposition as alarmist and out of touch. Several cited the profane comments they received, and all three showed disdain for the public, promising that the free market would correct itself and that we could trust the telecom industry to regulate itself. (If you’re not familiar with net neutrality it’s a measure enacted in 2015 that classifies internet service providers as telecom utilities under government regulation. It requires ISPs to treat all websites equally and not to disable access or slow down access to certain sites. You can read more about net neutrality and why it matters here, on Vox.)

The two Democratic women on the FCC panel were the sole dissenters, Commissioners Rosenworcel and Clyburn, and they were impassioned and convincing on behalf of the public. As Commissioner Clyburn stated, “the fix was in” however and there was nothing they could do. It’s almost as if it didn’t matter at all that the public was rallying against this measure. Incidentally, there was fraud in the online comments submitted on the measure, with Russian bots and comments made using stolen identities. For this reason alone the vote should have been delayed, but the men who were dead set on pushing it through used it as an excuse to disregard the majority opinion. 18 Attorneys general requested that the FCC delay this vote due to commenting fraud and identity theft, a federal crime, and were ultimately ignored. The FCC has not held one public hearing on this sweeping measure that affects all Americans with Internet access.

The new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, was of course appointed by Trump and used to be Verizon’s chief counsel. He argued repeatedly that the telecoms couldn’t expand broadband access and invest in their networks unless the government let them do whatever they wanted to consumers. His comments were woefully out of touch and ignored the concerns of millions of Americans that their Internet access would be heavily controlled by a small handful of corporations.

I take comfort in Commissioner Clyburn’s promise that “the fight to save net neutrality does not end today” and that “the agency does not have the final word.” Commissioner Rosenworcel was equally badass, promising that she’s “not going to give up” and telling us to persist. “If the arc of history is long, we are going to bend this toward a more just outcome… Let’s persist, let’s fight, let’s not stop here or now. It’s too important, the future depends on it.

Legal challenges will of course be mounted against this. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is suing the FCC and hopefully more attorneys general will follow suit. What’s more is that, by disabling net neutrality, Pajit may have screwed the Republican party more than they’re already screwed. Net neutrality is an issue that 83% of voters support and this will hopefully propel us to victory in the 2018 elections, when Congress can wipe this disgusting decision off the books.

Also, this is the kind of asshattery that Pai thinks is funny and cute. This is an actual video he made to convince the public that dismantling net neutrality is a good idea. He thinks he’s parodying himself I guess, but instead he’s showing that he thinks consumer protections and the Internet are a joke. (Note that Youtube deleted the primary copy of this, the one on the main page of Reddit, after a copyright claim.)

Let’s end with these comments from Commissioner Clyburn. I was so impressed by her and by Commissioner Rosenworcel.

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