Technology 7 min read

Tech Leaders and Politicians React to FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal

Steve Rhodes |

Steve Rhodes |

The vote to repeal net neutrality has been made, creating havoc within the online community and tech world.

On Thursday, the Republican-controlled FCC finally cast the vote to repeal net neutrality, a move that sent the Internet abuzz. Millions of people from across the United States have expressed their disappointment, with some taking their opposition to the streets and many more on social media platforms.

For months, the FCC has been plagued with criticism thrown by organizations, politicians, and ordinary individuals supporting the fight for Internet freedom. However, Ajit Pai‘s motion to kill Obama-era’s net neutrality rules and return to the so-called light touch framework has triumphed despite a seemingly widespread public disapproval of that move.

Is #NetNeutrality now dead? What will happen to #InternetFreedom now?Click To Tweet

Apparently, the move by the FCC to kill Title II has given broadband providers like Comcast and Verizon the freedom to charge customers just to access certain sites, block or slow down competitors’ content, and charge extra for Internet fast lanes.

Following the overwhelming vote, tech giants, influencers, and ISPs among others, have shared their opinions. Here’s how the tech world and renowned personalities reacted to the decision.


“We’re disappointed in the decision to gut  protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity & civic engagement. This is the beginning of a longer legal battle. Netflix stands w/ innovators, large & small, to oppose this misguided FCC order.”

Michael Beckerman

Michael Beckerman, Internet Association President and CEO, issued the following statement after the vote to repeal net neutrality has been carried out by FCC:

“The internet industry opposes Chairman Pai’s repeal of the 2015 Open Internet Order. Today’s vote represents a departure from more than a decade of broad, bipartisan consensus on the rules governing the internet. Relying on ISPs to live up to their own ‘promises’ is not net neutrality and is bad for consumers. Let’s remember why we have these rules in the first place. There is little competition in the broadband service market — more than half of all Americans have no choice in their provider — so consumers will be forced to accept ISP interference in their online experience. This is in stark contrast to the websites and apps that make up Internet Association, where competition is a click away and switching costs are low.

The fight isn’t over. Internet Association is currently weighing our legal options in a lawsuit against today’s Order, and remains open to Congress enshrining strong, enforceable net neutrality protections into law.”

Bernie Sanders

“This is an egregious attack on our democracy. The end of protections means that the internet will be for sale to the highest bidder. When our democratic institutions are already in peril, we must do everything we can to stop this decision from taking effect.”

Steve Huffman

Steve Huffman, Reddit CEO, said in a Reddit post:

“It is disappointing that the FCC Chairman plowed ahead with his planned repeal despite all of this public concern, not to mention the objections expressed by his fellow commissioners, the FCC’s own CTO, more than a hundred members of Congress, dozens of senators, and the very builders of the modern internet.

Nevertheless, today’s vote is the beginning, not the end. While the fight to preserve net neutrality is going to be longer than we had hoped, this is far from over.

What is certain is that Reddit will continue to be involved in this issue in the way that we know best: seeking out every opportunity to amplify your voices and share them with those who have the power to make a difference.”


In a statement to TechCrunch, Comcast said:

“We commend Chairman Pai for his leadership and FCC Commissioners O’Reilly and Carr for their support in adopting the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, returning to a regulatory environment that allowed the Internet to thrive for decades by eliminating burdensome Title II regulations and opening the door for increased investment and digital innovation. Today’s action does not mark the ‘end of the Internet as we know it;’ rather it heralds in a new era of light regulation that will benefit consumers.”


“For more than a decade, under both Republican and Democratic Administrations, AT&T has consistently made clear that we provide broadband service in an open and transparent way.  We do not block websites, nor censor online content, nor throttle or degrade traffic based on the content, nor unfairly discriminate in our treatment of internet traffic.

These principles, which were laid out in the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet Order and fully supported by AT&T, are clearly articulated on our website and are fully enforceable against us.  In short, the internet will continue to work tomorrow just as it always has. 

Despite the existence and the enforceability of all of these commitments, we have, since 2010, also repeatedly called for a non-Title II legislative solution that would make these consumer protections permanent. We continue to support a legislative solution and will work with any interested members of Congress to achieve that solution.”


Today’s misguided vote to gut Net Neutrality protections threatens creativity, innovation, and free speech. We remain committed to supporting an open internet for everyone.”


“The @FCC‘s vote to gut  rules is a body blow to innovation and free expression. We will continue our fight to defend the open Internet and reverse this misguided decision.”


Here is Google’s take on FCC’s vote to repeal net neutrality:

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, wrote a statement on her personal Facebook page:

“Today’s decision from the Federal Communications Commission to end net neutrality is disappointing and harmful. An open internet is critical for new ideas and economic opportunity – and internet providers shouldn’t be able to decide what people can see online or charge more for certain websites. We’re ready to work with members of Congress and others to help make the internet free and open for everyone.”

Today’s decision from the Federal Communications Commission to end net neutrality is disappointing and harmful. An open…

Sheryl Sandberg 发布于 2017年12月14日周四

Brian Chesky

Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder and CEO, said:

“The FCC’s vote to repeal net neutrality is wrong & disappointing. A free & open internet is critical to innovation, an open society, & widespread access to economic empowerment. @Airbnb will continue to speak out for net neutrality.”

The Fight is Far From Over

While FCC has finally carried out the vote to repeal net neutrality, people still believe that the fight for Internet freedom is still far from over. Yesterday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, one of the leading voices in the fight against the net neutrality rules repeal, announced that he will sue FCC for its illegal rollback of net neutrality.

“We will be filing a claim to preserve protections for New Yorkers and all Americans. And we’ll be working aggressively to stop the FCC’s leadership from doing any further damage to the internet and to our economy,” Schneiderman said in a press release.

“Today’s new rule would enable ISPs to charge consumers more to access sites like Facebook and Twitter and give them the leverage to degrade high quality of video streaming until and unless somebody pays them more money. Even worse, today’s vote would enable ISPs to favor certain viewpoints over others.”

What’s your stand on the current state of our Internet ‘freedom’? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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