An Open Internet Isn’t Free

Here at BitTorrent, we’re fond of a particular saying: The Internet is powered by people. You may pay your bills every month to the ISPs, but they aren’t the ones who make the Internet what it is. It’s the hard work, innovation, and dedication to the future that makes the Internet the conduit for innovation, business, and free speech that benefits everyone.

Yesterday, a 3-2 majority of the FCC voted in favor of Net Neutrality. It’s an important moment in the long struggle to keep the Internet Open – an ongoing fight that this company has firmly stood its ground on alongside companies like Netflix, Reddit, Mozilla, the EFF, Engine and others.

But we also couldn’t do it alone. Awareness campaigns from several parties kept everyday people educated on the FCC’s proposal and motivated you to make your voice heard, including our own FastLane campaign which reached 1 million users. And, in the end, more than four million consumers wrote in to the FCC to express their desire to keep the Internet open — the highest number of comments on record for an FCC proposal.

It’s the unceasing and unified voice of the people that helped bring FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to the position he exhibited today, when he stated, “No one, whether government or corporate, should control access to the Open Internet.”

However, this isn’t the end of the Open Internet story. We still have plenty of work to do. A free and open internet requires a level of transparency on the part of all stakeholders, as well as a constant vigilance.

And so as we have done in the past, here at BitTorrent we’re looking where the Internet can go next, to continue innovating and introduce both new technologies and protocols that can preserve an Open Internet beyond even what legislation can protect.

In creating great things that will empower a generation of users, with the right tools and the technology in the right hands, we can solve anything.

The Internet powered by people is really just getting started, and it is now our job to ensure that we can preserve the environment it needs to grow. We can make our own rules. In doing so, we much constantly protect the Internet from bad actors who want to block traffic, discriminate traffic, or create paid prioritization.

For today, let’s acknowledge the hard work put in by all of those who acted in favor of maintaining Net Neutrality. This is a win for the little guys, and a big step toward maintaining an Internet for the people.

Photo: Flickr/Diego Torres Silvestre

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