In a letter addressed to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, celebrity performers including Mark Ruffalo and Eddie Vedder called for the commission to issue new rules that protect net neutrality. "As members of this community," the letter reads, "we urge the Federal Communications Commission to protect the open internet as a vehicle for free expression and collaboration."
"Your proposed path would open the door to widespread discrimination online."
The letter comes as a response to the proposed "fast lane" provisions revealed by the Wall Street Journal last month that would let service providers like Comcast charge for preferential treatment. The group is pushing the FCC to scrap the new proposal and instead enforce the Open Internet rules, making a clear call for internet to be seen as a telecommunications utility. "Allowing broadband providers to control this once-open platform shifts power away from individual artists and creators and interferes with freedom of speech and expression," they write.
The group is far from alone. The more than 50 performers have now joined 10 senators, 50 tech investors, and a massive coalition of tech companies all opposed to the new rules. The FCC will officially vote on the provisions on Thursday. Even though Wheeler already rather lamely restated his commitment to defending the open internet late last week, public opinion of the proposal has by now completely soured.