RUSA Member Resources for Net Neutrality

You have no doubt seen many items in your email and news feed about Net Neutrality. RUSA wants to be sure our members have the information they need, not only to make their voice heard, but also to serve as a resource to their communities.

What Happened:

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Pai publicly shared his plan to dismantle network neutrality protections approved by the FCC in 2015 and affirmed by the federal appeals court in 2016. The new draft order is scheduled to be voted on by the five FCC commissioners on December 14. We believe FCC Chairman Pai likely has the three votes needed among FCC commissioners to pass the order.

 Why It Matters:

Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must enable access to all legal content and applications regardless of the source and without favoring or blocking specific services or websites. Strong, enforceable rules are critical to the functioning of modern libraries because we rely on the internet to collect, create and disseminate essential online information and services to the public. Libraries and our patrons cannot afford to be relegated to “slow lanes” on the internet. ALA has two resolutions regarding net neutrality: the first affirms net neutrality and the second reaffirms our support.

What You Can Do:

You can call upon your congressional delegation to block this effort. You can also ensure that your community is informed and prepared to join you in opposition.

  1. Contact Your Congressional Representative
    Right now, the FCC is not accepting public comments (that may come later), but strong disapproval from members of Congress (especially from Republicans and those that serve on committees with oversight for the FCC) could force a pause in the December 14 vote to derail net neutrality. Make your voice heard now by emailing your member of Congress to support net neutrality protections. Send an Email
  1. Equip Your Patrons
    Reference librarians are a key resource for members of their community. We are on the frontlines so we have a pivotal role to play in informing our community.  Help your patrons know and understand this issue for themselves. Here are a few links that you may find useful:

The ALA Washington office is vigilantly monitoring this issue and will continue to send alerts. RUSA will provide additional information about key steps you can take as they become available. In the meantime, please let us know if you need more resources or assistance.

Sincerely,

Arlene Weismantel, Chair of RUSA Access to Information Committee
Sarah Hammill, RUSA Councilor

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