April 27: Speaking Up for a Fair and Open Internet

This month, a federal court handed Comcast a victory over consumer rights--ruling that the FCC can't protect Internet users when big providers like Comcast and AT&T block access to websites they don't like. The case could have a far-reaching impact, threatening aspects of the FCC's forward-looking National Broadband Strategy to expand and improve Internet service across the country.

Meanwhile, big Internet providers continue their go-slow (or no-go) approach to providing affordable, high-quality service, passing over rural areas and historically low-income neighborhoods. In many neighborhoods, in Seattle and across the nation, the digital divide is getting wider instead of narrower.

The FCC is Coming to Seattle

This week, Seattle will get our chance to weigh in on the future of broadband in the US, as the FCC returns to Seattle with a pair of events focused on preserving an open Internet.

On Tuesday evening, Apr 27, FCC staff will be featured guests at a community conversation on open Internet and net neutrality, hosted by Reclaim the Media along with Hidmo, KBCS Community Radio and the NW Media Action Grassroots Network. The event, Speaking Up for a Fair and Open Internet, takes place 6:30-8:30pm at Asian Counseling and Referral Service, 3639 Martin Luther King Way in Seattle.

Then, at 9:30am on Weds. Apr. 28, the FCC will hold an official workshop on Preserving the Open Internet, downtown at the Federal Building. Both events are free and open to the public.

Want to come to one event but not both? The Tuesday evening event will offer far better opportunities to speak and interact with FCC staff and other featured guests; the focus of the event will be talking together about Internet policy and how it connects with related issues including social equality, education, economic development, social equality, and communications rights.

The Weds. morning workshop will be more formal, with formal panel presentations and limited audience interaction (questions will be accepted only in written form). The Weds. morning event will also be streamed live online, and questions will be solicited via Twitter.

FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker was originally scheduled to attend both Seattle events, but will be unable to be here due to a death in her family. Reclaim the Media offers Commissioner Baker our condolences.

Comments or statements submitted at the April 27 event will be submitted to the FCC and will become part of its official proceeding on Open Internet issues.

Get involved in preparations for these events by contacting RTM's digital justice organizer, Sunny Kim, at sunny@reclaimthemedia.org!

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey