Net Neutrality Wins the Day

This is a historic day in the life of the Internet in America.

Media Council Hawaii applauds the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote for an open Internet in America by classifying broadband service as a public utility. The new "net neutrality" rules, which were approved by a 3 to 2 vote along party lines, will prevent providers of high-speed Internet access from blocking websites they do not like or creating fast lanes to those who can afford it and slow lanes for those who can't.

The New York Times quoted Chairman Tom Wheeler as saying that the FCC will use "all the tools in our toolbox to protect innovators and consumers" and preserve the Internet's role as a "core of free expression and democratic principles."

The Free Press, a public interest advocacy group in Washington, D.C., called it an "incredible victory" in the face of major opposition from corporate cable and phone companies. Free Press praised the grassroots effort that led to this decision, but warned that cable and phone companies such as Verizon and Time Warner Cable will be "relentless in their efforts to knock it down."

So be prepared to fight like hell to protect this victory and for the strongest possible policies to protect a free and open Internet. As Free Press puts it, "this isn't the end. This is the start of something huge."