I’m sure you have all heard about the FCC not taking (or looking) at any public comments regarding Net Neutrality. However, you can still voice your opinion on Net Neutrality by contacting your members of Congress. It is particularly important to contact them if your Congress person is on one of the committees that oversees the FCC. (Go to links highlighted below, click “about” and find out if your state and Congress person is listed)
(I am re-posting what I was sent from the MLA/AAHSL Legislative Task Force)
Through the ALA Washington Office we have learned that last week, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Pai announced plans 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 14th.
Why Net Neutrality Matters:
MLA and AAHSL support the net neutrality protections approved by the Federal Communications Commission in 2015 and affirmed by the federal appeals court in 2016. Net neutrality is critical to libraries, library patrons and the public.
Health sciences libraries require an open internet to provide
- unencumbered access to the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) almost 300 databases that support health care, education, and research; and
- Internet access to images that support telemedicine.
The public requires Internet access without restrictions and barriers to access consumer health information.
Libraries depend on the principles of net neutrality which allow them to create and make available on their websites content that supports educational opportunities online worldwide and to provide access to datasets to promote research and collaboration.
What You Can Do (before December 13th):
As the ALA Washington Office reports, right now, the FCC is not accepting public comments (that may come later), but strong disapproval from members of Congress (especially from those who 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 (www.House.gov) and (www.Senate.gov) to support net neutrality protections.
Links below are provided to the following House and Senate Committees and Subcommittees with jurisdiction over the FCC.
- House Energy and Commerce Committee
- House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce and Communications
- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission
- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet Subcommittee
For talking points see:
MLA/AAHSL Comments to the Federal Communications Commission re: Restoring Internet Freedom,” Docket 17-108 (July 14, 2017) and feel free to personalize your letter by addressing the impact of this potential rollback on your libraries and users.
Here are some other good video (non medical) explaining why Net Neutrality is important. https://trib.al/cfpx4Oa