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Canadian campaign against Internet Slow Lane plan in the US

Canadian Internet freedom group launches campaign against proposed Internet Slow Lane plan in the U.S.

Crucial U.S. FCC meeting on Thursday could mean many of Canadians’ favourite websites and online services slow to a crawl due to the gutting “Net Neutrality” rules.

May 13, 2014 – Canadians and Americans are working together to prevent drastic new proposals that could see many favourite websites slow to a crawl. Leading Canadian Internet freedom group OpenMedia.ca has teamed up with The Nation magazine and other groups to launch a cross border online campaign aimed at stopping the plan.

Key decision-makers at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) meet Thursday to discuss a proposal from FCC Chair Tom Wheeler that would force every service that can’t pay new “prioritization” fees into a slow lane. The proposed new rules would come into effect in the U.S., but their effects would soon be felt worldwide, crippling many of Canadians’ favourite websites and making it more expensive for people to use the Internet.

“We have just 48 hours to stop this reckless and irresponsible plan that would make our Internet slower, more expensive, and more like cable TV,” said OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “It amounts to an Internet Slow Lane for every website and service unwilling to pay extortionate new fees to telecom giants. Big Telecom’s army of lobbyists have been pushing for these new gatekeeper powers for years - they want to take power away from Internet users by forcing us to watch the content they own, slowing everything else to a standstill.”

Anderson continued: “These proposals will harm Internet users not just in the U.S. but right across the planet - pretty much everyone who uses a U.S.-based online service will be affected. Canadian Internet users and businesses will be especially hard hit as so much of our everyday Internet traffic passes through servers in the U.S. The FCC needs to listen to Internet users instead of telecom lobbyists. Instead of signing a death warrant for the free and open Internet they need to implement new safeguards to guarantee equal access for all online content.”

The FCC meeting takes place on Thursday May 15. Defenders of the open Internet are already camping in growing numbers outside the FCC building, and won’t leave until the plan is revoked.

Here are photos of the encampment outside the FCC.
Here’s a video of protesters outside the FCC.

Thousands of people are already signing on in support of the campaign to Say No to the Internet Slow Lane at: https://OpenMedia.org/SlowLane

About OpenMedia.ca
OpenMedia.ca is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights.

Through campaigns such as StopTheMeter.ca and StopSpying.ca, OpenMedia.ca has engaged over half-a-million Canadians, and has influenced public policy and federal law.

More Information
• Net Neutrality, Monopoly, and the Death of the Democratic Internet. Source: Motherboard
• FCC's new net neutrality rules opposed by 100+ internet companies (update: vote still on schedule). Source: Engadget.
• Internet traffic from around the globe passes through U.S. servers, peering, and content delivery networks. As a result, it’s likely that web traffic from outside the U.S. could get caught in the slow lane. Source: Motherboard.
• Protesters set up camp at net neutrality rally outside FCC headquarters. Source: The Guardian.
• OpenMedia fought for and won Canadian Open Internet rules that should prevent Big Telecom discriminating against competing services. We even flew in some of the original architects of the Internet to the CRTC hearing.
• CRTC report shows Internet openness complaints went up in 2012 - see this media advisory.
• OpenMedia.ca’s crowdsourced Casting an Open Net Plan calls for net neutrality audits and penalties for companies in breach of net neutrality.
• CRTC will rescind ‘unlimited use’ Internet decision – or Ottawa will overturn it. Source: The Globe and Mail
OpenMedia.ca: Regulators pull back from usage-based billing after half-a-million Canadians speak out
• "If using the Rogers 3G or LTE network, for only $5/month, customers can enjoy 10 hours of viewing on their device" (This means non-Rogers content is unfairly more expensive than Rogers-owned content.) Source: Google Play

ENDS

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