WGA East To FCC: Cancel the Vote to Repeal Net Neutrality

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NEW YORK, NY (November 30, 2017) – The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission in strong opposition to Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to repeal the rules that require net neutrality.

The comments highlight the bedrock principle that all content creators and consumers have equal access to an open internet “regardless of the content of their views or the depths of their pockets.”

The Guild concludes that the FCC must cancel its December 14th vote to repeal net neutrality and respect the will of the majority of Americans to keep current rules in place.

Read excerpts from the Guild’s comments:

“Perhaps it is not surprising that the question of who rules access to the digital highway system has become so sharply politicized.  Online computer and mobile access to viewers and readers, to consumers and voters, to business users and families, is perhaps the most contested terrain in the modern economy and political system.  Ensuring that all comers are treated the same, regardless of the content of their views or the depths of their pockets, is the hallmark of rational policy.  It is the basis of the Commission’s current net neutrality rules, rules which are viable and enforceable only under Title II, as the appellate courts have made crystal clear.”

The major content creation entities (studios and networks, in particular) rake in record-breaking profits, as do the Internet Service Providers and massive tech giants like Google and Amazon.  If anything, the Commission should be crafting policies to reduce the power of these massive gatekeepers, rather than freeing them to exercise their power to dominate the Internet.

“It is precisely the principles of net neutrality, including no-blocking and non-discrimination rules and restrictions on fast-lane pricing and preferences, that have served to restrain the enormously powerful and profitable media, telecommunications, and technology giants that would otherwise rule the Internet.  Enforceable rules that preclude these vast enterprises from stifling their competitors are what has fostered the explosion of innovation and opportunity that characterizes the current period.”

Click here to read the full comments.

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST

The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, news and digital media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.

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