Brazil and the E.U. welcome historic protections for net neutrality, but why is the U.S. stalling?

Access, an international organization committed to extending and defending the rights of internet users worldwide, is encouraged by recent votes that will help secure an open internet. Yesterday, the European Union voted 534-23 in favor of network neutrality, and just last week the Brazilian Congress also voted to protect the internet as part of a larger “internet bill of rights.”

“The European Union has seized a unique opportunity to take a strong stand in favour of net neutrality” said Raegan MacDonald, European Policy Manager at Access, “This historical decision will help preserve the dynamic and transformative nature of the internet for generations of European users.” 

Despite these significant gains overseas, however, the dialogue here in the U.S. has stalled. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has staunchly refused to start Title II reclassification, which would designate Internet Service providers as “common carriers” and subject ISPs to increased scrutiny. Such a move would protect innovation on the internet while safeguarding human rights.

“Even as Europe and Brazil have passed landmark net neutrality protections, the US has failed to take action. The FCC can and must act now to stop net discrimination,” said Access Policy Director Jochai Ben-Avie.

Net neutrality is a critical issue that has far reaching ramifications for free speech, development, and competition, and the United States can no longer afford to ignore the problems that exist within the current framework.