Today, the Authors Guild joined 170 other organizations in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune, and Ranking Member Bill Nelson, urging the government to continue enforcing strong rules protecting net neutrality, the principle that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally.

This letter was sent in advance of a Senate FCC Oversight Hearing that may decide the future of the open Internet, to take place this Wednesday, March 8, 2017. The letter asks these leaders to support and continue to enforce the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order, which reclassified broadband Internet as a public utility--as opposed to an information service--codified the principles of net neutrality, and gave the FCC the ability to enforce it.

“Protecting net neutrality is crucial to ensuring that the Internet remains a central driver of economic growth and opportunity, job creation, education, free expression, and civic organizing for everyone,” the letter asserts.

The Authors Guild has long supported the principle of net neutrality as a bulwark against the Internet becoming a pay-to-play hierarchy, one in which ISPs could establish high-bandwidth “fast lanes” for the largest bidders, block access to users’ access to content, and slow down connections to Internet services. As the Guild has previously noted, “authors have a greater stake than ever in ensuring an online environment that doesn’t favor the delivery of certain works at the expense of others . . . So we continue to advocate for an ecosystem in which author websites, blogs, independent publishers, and startups yet to be imagined will be able to operate without the risk of being stalled, sidelined, or crowded out by companies with deeper pockets.”

Read the full letter below.