Posted on February 26, 2016
Celebrating One Year Since the Historic Net Neutrality Victory
Most politicians thought we couldn’t win this fight. Some Democrats joined Republicans on the wrong side. Others expressed support but were simply too timid to speak out on behalf of the strongest rules.
But thanks to fierce activism, millions spoke out for the only solution that would make strong rules on Net Neutrality possible: the awkwardly named “Title II reclassification.” The president joined you in this call and on February 26, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to adopt historic Net Neutrality rules under the legal framework we had demanded for years.
Big Telecom is used to getting its way in D.C. – and for good reason. Most Beltway insiders dismissed this kind of victory as impossible because Telecom giants usually have enough money and influence to play the insider game and get Democrats to support them or stay neutral. As a result they usually win.
That’s what happened in 2010, when President Obama’s first FCC Chair Julius Genachowski caved to Big Telecom and passed sham rules that his own lawyers warned him wouldn’t stand up in court.
But this time, we changed the game. Since the early days of this fight, CREDO has gotten a lot bigger. Instead of being a 500,000 member organization, now we have more than 4 million progressives fighting for change.
New and fierce groups rose to prominence after the SOPA/PIPA fight – most prominently Demand Progress and Fight for the Future. We became close allies with those groups, organizing campaigns together and providing them with funding.
A new generation of Civil Rights leaders are making Net Neutrality a major part of their equality agenda. ColorOfChange has grown into a powerful voice for protecting civil rights online. Because of their advocacy, and that of groups like the Center for Media Justice, the Media Action Grassroots Network, and the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Democrats who in the past have sided with telecom lobbyists changed their tune this time around.
The biggest progressive Web site, Daily Kos, also got deeply involved in the fight. MoveOn mobilized its members organizing nationwide rallies. Policy groups like Free Press pushed back in Washington, D.C. and made it clear that no insider compromise would get the backing of the grassroots. And then, one by one, other Internet businesses joined CREDO Mobile in the fight and got the attention of some of the most corporate-minded Democrats.
Not only have we organized, but thanks to its members CREDO has helped fund the movement for Net Neutrality by giving nearly a million dollars in recent years to incredible groups like Demand Progress, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Color Of Change, the ACLU and Free Press.
This was a massive group effort. A powerful coalition of grassroots leaders, startups and tech companies, civil rights groups, lawyers, consumer and privacy advocates and netroots groups organized millions of people in every corner of the country to call out the toxic influence of Big Telecom in Washington, D.C., and demand real Net Neutrality.
THANK YOU to everyone who made this crucial victory possible.