Network neutrality - the principle that all content on the internet should be treated equally - has been a core Open MIC initiative since the organization’s launch in 2007. Over the course of seven years, we organized multiple shareholder proposals on the issue at major internet Service Providers (ISPs), including AT&T and Verizon, where one proposal won support by shares worth more than $30 billion.
Open MIC’s position in favor of net neutrality was spelled out in one of our filings with the Federal Communications Commission, which argued that the “economic and investment impact of open internet policies and practices can be profound....Open internet principles also promote free speech, civic participation, democratic engagement and marketplace competition, as well as robust broadband adoption and participation in the internet community by minorities and other socially and economically disadvantaged groups.”
In June 2016, net neutrality advocates won a major victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a 2015 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling which “reclassified” broadband internet as a telecommunications service and barred throttling, blocking and paid prioritization of internet content and applications.
But the fight isn’t over. The telecommunications industry has signalled that it may appeal the latest court ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. Open MIC will continue working to preserve an open, non-discriminatory internet that guarantees equal access to content regardless of the source.