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One Step Closer to an Open Internet

Nov 10, 2014

by Althea Erickson

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Today the fight to protect the open Internet got a huge boost when President Obama issued a statement and video calling on the FCC to protect real net neutrality under the strongest authority available to it – Title II of the Communications Act.

We applaud the President’s strong stance on this issue, and urge the FCC to take action this year to protect the Internet and the millions of micro-businesses who depend on it to reach consumers.

This morning, the President said what the Etsy community has been saying for months: there should not be a two-tiered Internet, where big companies pay for fast lanes, leaving the rest of us in the slow lane. We want the Internet to continue to be a level playing field, where businesses succeed based on the value of their products, not the depths of their pockets.

Since last spring, we have been organizing to protect real net neutrality. We’ve submitted formal comments, met with Chairman Wheeler, and participated in the FCC roundtables. Over 30,000 members of the Etsy community contacted the FCC and Congress as part of the #InternetSlowDown. Our sellers even “crafted” comments to the FCC, urging them to protect the free and open Internet.

Tammy Durant from TwigAndPebbleJewelry reflects the feelings of many Etsy sellers in her public comments to the FCC: “Due to ongoing health issues for several years, I have been unable to work a regular, full-time paying job, and have been able to make a part-time income from my Etsy sales. If the Internet is restricted in any way that could limit the flow of customers able to shop on Etsy, this could greatly hinder not only myself, but thousands of other Etsy sellers as well as the buyers who would frequent our shops.”

Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson said in a statement: “I’m thrilled to see President Obama stand with Etsy and our sellers in calling for strong net neutrality rules under Title II. The President has proved that he truly is a champion of the Internet. I urge Chairman Wheeler to follow suit.”

Though FCC Chairman Wheeler has publicly stated that his goal is to protect the open Internet, he has so far been reluctant to embrace the approach that would put net neutrality rules on the firmest footing – reclassifying broadband under Title II of the Communications Act. Our fear has been that by relying on any authority except Title II, the Chairman risks having the rules overturned in court – as they were this January.

That’s why we’re thrilled to see President Obama embrace not only strong rules, but the most robust possible legal framework to support them. Though we haven’t won yet, the President’s statement brings us one step closer to protecting the open Internet once and for all.

16 comments

  • tammydurant

    Tammy Durant from TwigAndPebbleJewelry said 2 years ago

    Great article & post here! A strong voice! I am honored that you chose to put my comment to the FCC in your post! I hope this all has some major impact on these upcoming decisions for net neutrality. :)

  • WildTravels

    Tyson from WildTravels said 2 years ago

    Great news - Glad to hear some positive developments on this issue that concerns all of us.

  • EmmaNYC

    Emma from EmmaNYC said 2 years ago

    Good on the President, and good on Etsy!

  • jetlifefam

    Jared Walcott from jawproductions said 2 years ago

    As far as hazy eyes can see the sun will rise

  • MamaRobot

    Amanda Baehr Fuller from MamaRobot said 2 years ago

    Thank you Etsy for speaking out on behalf of all of us small business owners.

  • sheassuperfine

    Mimi 'n Macy from SheasTreasurebox said 2 years ago

    thank you etsy

  • sakao

    Erica xo from SakaoCo said 2 years ago

    Fantastic news! One less thing to worry about, for now!! xo

  • WeddingFlowersAndHom

    JESSALU LOVELL from JessWrightDesigns said 2 years ago

    Thanks to you incredibly, hard-working souls who find, no MAKE, the time needed to defend our internet privileges. I am humbled by your dedication.

  • kathywilsontomlinson

    Boathouse Bags, Inc. from BoathouseBags said 2 years ago

    Oh my God... the ignorance level shown by people like Ted Cruz is downright scary. Thank you, Etsy for joining the pro-active force that is fighting for Net Neutrality... and our sanity as well!

  • gingerkayoli

    Ginger Oliphant from CallMeArtsy said 2 years ago

    Thank you Etsy, for your hard work on this!

  • ButterflyFeetShop

    Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital said 2 years ago

    Thank you Etsy!

  • usamas

    usamas jullapak from LineThaiHandicraft said 2 years ago

    thank you Etsy,and good on Etsy

  • nellijadukalska

    Nellija Giurasevici from WaldosBoutique said 2 years ago

    Amazing news! Feeling pride to be part of Etsy community!

  • siouxcarroll

    Sioux Carroll from SmileShopCollections said 2 years ago

    In my opinion, and I am serious, the internet has become a personal right, like freedom of speech. Just try to go through life without it and you will see what I mean!

  • softoceans

    Clara Joy from ShopClaraJoy said 2 years ago

    Thanks for keeping it neutral Etsy!

  • anitapilcher

    Anita Pilcher from AnnebyHand said 2 years ago

    I find it sad that we can so easily throw our freedoms away because a politician promises something we think we want. We really do not know what will become of "Net Neutrality" because the FCC is not letting anyone read the huge document they are voting on. All we know is the feel good aspect of it. Remember how expensive long distance phone service was until it was de-regulated. Remember when the newspapers used to make fun of the military paying astronimical prices for simple items like toilet paper. Where are the hidden taxes? What about all the other parts of this regulation that have nothing to do with the internet? The internet in Europe is heavily regulated and I understand it is slow because companies have no incentives to expand or make it better. We are Americans, we are the innovators, not because we are smarter, but because we have had the luxury of freedoms other places can not even imagine. Look how awesome Etsy is...it would be a shame if anything were to diminish this truly unique and wonderful website.

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