With its own webpage overloaded, Tuesday’s deadline was extended until Friday for the public to comment on a Federal Communications Commission proposal that would end net neutrality. Nearly 700,000 comments had already flooded into the FCC, including more than 40,000 who weighed in over the past two months with Sen. Bernie Sanders. “It would be a boon to the largest corporations in America and a blow to small businesses and start-up entrepreneurs,” Sanders said. “The end of net neutrality would be an attack on the free expression of ideas and our democratic form of society,” he added. Sanders and 12 other senators sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler asking him to protect net neutrality.
“If the FCC allows big corporations to negotiate ‘fast lane’ deals, then the Internet will be sold to the highest bidder. Companies with the money will have the access to their customers while small businesses will be treated as second- and third-class citizens.
“The American people understand that the Internet has been an enormous success in fostering innovation and enabling free and open speech across the country and throughout the world. Allowing for “fast lanes” would change the fundamental architecture of the Internet. It would remove the neutrality that’s been in place for decades and allow big corporations to control content online.
“I am a strong believer that the Internet should be classified as a 'common carrier.' I made that case in a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler, along with other senators.
Two months ago, I asked Vermonters and people throughout the country to share their views about net neutrality and to provide comments to the FCC through my website. As a result, more than 40,000 Americans did just that. They told the FCC loudly and clearly that we must retain net neutrality, and that is exactly what we must do.”