Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will open a proceeding designed to kill net neutrality protections previously adopted by the Commission. Net neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers should enable access to all content and applications. Policy experts at The Greenlining Institute warned that the FCC under Trump-appointed Chairman Ajit Pai is handling the matter in a fundamentally dishonest way, and the result could be disastrous for Americans of color.
“Destroying net neutrality means the less wealthy and less powerful will be consigned to internet slow lanes, and while that’s bad for the vast majority of Americans, it really paints a target on the back of people of color,” said Greenlining Institute Telecommunications Senior Legal Counsel Paul Goodman. “It’s clear from how Chairman Pai has framed these proceedings that he’s not looking for honest, fair input—he’s cherry-picking data to validate a decision he’s already made.”
The Greenlining Institute has long advocated for net neutrality protections, first laying out the case in detail in its 2012 report, “Saving the Open Internet: The Importance of Net Neutrality.” Earlier this month, Greenlining President Orson Aguilar argued in a HuffPost column that dismantling net neutrality would cripple the ability of activists in communities of color to organize and noted, “By and large, people of color have considerably less wealth than White Americans, and the businesses they own are smaller. If net neutrality goes away, they’ll be hit first and hardest. So will activists in our communities, who depend on online organizing.”