Washington — Internet users and businesses that rely on internet access are staging a day of protest against the FCC’s plans to abdicate its role in protecting consumers and businesses from discrimination online. Battle for the Net has organized a day of action in hopes of raising awareness about what’s at stake, and the Computer & Communications Industry Association was one of the early participants to help make the economic case for net neutrality.

Since its inception the internet has functioned under nondiscrimination using various legal mechanisms over the years. CCIA has been an advocate of nondiscrimination for more than a decade because net neutrality is what best supports the majority of businesses relying on the internet and next generation start ups.

CCIA and Mozilla had filed a joint amici curiae brief in the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit supporting the FCC, which the court relied upon in its ruling. So this latest action by the FCC to relinquish its authority to protect the Open Internet is disappointing. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“CCIA is proud to stand beside the public interest groups and internet users to bring attention to the critical importance of net neutrality for US companies and the economy. Net neutrality means no company can act as a gatekeeper for Internet content. It ensures that smaller startups and service providers will be able to compete on equal terms for Internet traffic with established companies. Net neutrality promotes the virtuous cycle of innovation that has been a hallmark of the Internet’s tremendous impact on not just the digital economy but our entire economy.

“Part of the success story of the US tech industry has been internet openness and a commitment to practices that allowed similar businesses to have similar internet access. Enforceable net neutrality rules allow next generation companies to rely on these principles which they need to really compete.

“Other countries are scrambling to replicate our internet success story by duplicating our net neutrality rules. Why would the FCC intervene now to undermine this policy and legal foundation that benefits so many internet users and businesses?”

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