ALA Will Continue Fight for Open Internet
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority to issue its 2018 Order eliminating network neutrality protections while also vacating parts of the order and remanding other parts. Importantly, the court vacated the portion of the Order in which the FCC attempted to preempt state or local efforts to protect an open internet.
In the case—Mozilla et al v. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)—consumer groups and some companies sought to restore net neutrality protections that the FCC passed in 2015 but eliminated in 2017. The American Library Association (ALA) has been on the front lines of the net neutrality battle with the FCC, Congress, and the federal courts for more than a decade, working in coalition with other library and higher education organizations, as well as broader coalitions of net neutrality advocates. In the current court case, ALA joined higher education and other library groups in filing an amicus brief in support of the petitioners seeking to defend net neutrality.
ALA President Wanda Brown made the following statement:
“Today’s decision is another chapter in a long effort to ensure an open internet for all. The American Library Association continues to stand for equitable access to the internet and for the network neutrality protections needed for libraries to fully serve their communities in the digital age.
While today’s decision falls far short of our goal to restore 2015 protections, we are heartened by the court’s ruling that states may fill the gap left by the FCC’s abdication of its broadband authority. Without strong and clear net neutrality protections in place, there is nothing to stop internet service providers from blocking or throttling legal internet traffic or setting up commercial arrangements where certain traffic is prioritized. The American people know this and overwhelmingly support strong net neutrality protections. ALA and the nearly 120,000 libraries across the country will not stop until we have restored net neutrality protections — whether in the states, Congress or in the courts.”