A new global fund is set to launch this week designed to fund “a global effort to defend net neutrality and a free and open Internet.”
The “net neutrality” movement, which has been spearheaded by Netflix, Google and Facebook, aims to overturn the 2015 Federal Communications Commission order that requires internet service providers to treat all internet traffic equally.
The effort is aimed at “getting government off the hook for failing to uphold net neutrality,” according to the Fund for a Free and Open Internet.
In a press release, Fund for the Future founder and CEO Adam Bain said he hoped the fund would “raise money to support a wide range of organizations in the fight for net neutrality.”
The fund will “provide a platform to fund organizations that support net neutrality, to build the capacity of the network neutrality movement, and to build grassroots support to make this critical issue a reality,” Bain wrote.
The fund was announced last week on behalf of a network of internet activists, including former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who also heads a coalition of tech companies, internet service companies, and tech startups.
“This is a major development in the battle for net access,” said Adam Segal, president of the progressive advocacy group Demand Progress, in a statement.
“A major reason why the Internet is so important to the future of our country is because it is free, open, and competitive.
The fight for an open Internet and free expression on our networks must not be stopped.
The world is watching.”
A recent report by the Congressional Research Service found that “the Internet is a net benefit to consumers and businesses, and net neutrality has not been a top priority for the FCC.
However, net neutrality rules have been a primary driver of the growth of internet innovation and innovation in the US economy.”
The net neutrality movement has grown significantly since the Trump administration launched its crackdown on the internet in 2017, but its success has been hampered by political interference from Trump and his allies.
Trump recently announced that he would no longer enforce a rule that required internet service provider (ISP) companies to block content deemed to be harmful to children or teenagers.
Pai also recently called the FCC’s rules an “attack on freedom of speech” and vowed to undo the rules if he were elected president.
The Trump administration has also called for an end to net neutrality regulation in favor of an internet “fast lane” where internet service is faster to reach consumers.
The US has had a net neutrality rule since 2005, when the FCC created the Open Internet Order.
The Open Internet Rules were designed to prevent ISPs from blocking or slowing the delivery of information or services, such as content.
In the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump vowed to repeal the rules.
The FCC is expected to vote on a proposal to undo net neutrality this week.