This morning, we surprised the Federal Communications Commission with breakfast: waffles to be exact.
We thought the food was fitting considering FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski continues to waffle on Net Neutrality. This pun was intended, and our guerrilla effort in the street wasn't about feeding the agency. We're drawing attention to an FCC that still has done nothing to protect an open Internet. We can't wait any longer.
Check out the photos as members of the SavetheInternet.com Coalition greeted agency staffers on the way into work with a hot breakfast and important message: "Don't Waffle on Net Neutrality!"
The waffles, replete with butter and syrup, were handed out in advance of the FCC's monthly open meeting - which fell almost a year to the day from the major speech in which FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski declared, "If we wait too long to preserve a free and open Internet, it will be too late."
The FCC has yet to move forward with Net Neutrality rules - despite launching a proceeding on the issue last October. The FCC's path was complicated when a federal appeals court ruled the FCC lacked the authority to regulate broadband as a result of decisions made during the Bush administration. However, instead of moving quickly to restore the FCC's authority to protect Internet users by "reclassifying" broadband, Chairman Genachowski has wavered and delayed.
"We've tried all the traditional methods, including petitions, comments and phone calls, to tell the FCC to protect Net Neutrality, so this time we decided to resort to tastier tactics," said Craig Aaron, managing director of Free Press, the non-profit that leads the SavetheInternet.com campaign. "The public can't afford to wait much longer for the FCC to stop waffling and move forward on enacting real Net Neutrality rules to ensure that the Internet remains open for everyone."
The September FCC meeting does not include Net Neutrality on the agenda, though the Commission did recently announce another round of public comment, which likely delays action until the end of the year at the earliest.
"The longer the FCC ponders the politics of Net Neutrality, the longer the public is left unprotected," Aaron said. "We cannot accept an Internet with fast and slow lanes, where the biggest companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon get to choose the winners and losers online. Chairman Genachowski has the backing of the president, congressional leadership and, most importantly, millions and millions of Internet users. We all need him to stop waffling and start getting to work."
The message this morning is clear: Mr. Genachowski, l'eggo our open Internet! Make sure you tell him yourself.