Net neutrality – the principle that providers of internet service must treat all traffic equally – is a cornerstone of the free, open internet. This once-obscure principle has been in the news, as federal agencies, Congress, and even the President debated the proper scope of net neutrality regulations.
Automattic supports net neutrality. We recently joined our users to advocate strong net neutrality rules, and cheered the FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband service under Title II of the Communications Act; a decisive move that supplies a sturdy legal foundation for real net neutrality. Even with this victory, we knew the battle for net neutrality was far from over.
The ink was barely dry on the FCC’s rules when opponents of net neutrality rushed to court in an attempt to dismantle what we, and much of the internet, fought so hard to win. The fate of net neutrality is now in the hands of a Washington DC appeals court, and we’re now adding our voice the case.
Today, we filed an amicus brief with the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in the case of United States Telecom Assn. v. FCC (the full brief is below). We’re proud to be joined on the brief by five other leading internet companies: Medium, Reddit, Squarespace, Twitter, and Yelp. Our tools, along with many others, have helped make the internet a global engine of free expression. We deeply appreciate the critical role net neutrality plays in ensuring that speech and expression, on all platforms, is free from interference, throttling or blocking by the gatekeepers who provide access to the internet. Very simply: net neutrality is necessary for free speech to flourish online. On behalf of Automattic, and especially the millions who rely on WordPress to speak to the world, we submit our brief in support of strong, enforceable, net neutrality rules.
WordPress.com, and the WordPress open source project are living examples of what is possible on a neutral internet, open for creation, collaboration, and expression. We urge the court to consider our example, as well the voices of internet users worldwide, as it considers this important case.