Higher education, library groups release net neutrality principles

Today, higher education and library organizations representing thousands of colleges, universities, and libraries nationwide released a joint set of Net Neutrality Principles they recommend form the basis of an upcoming Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to protect the openness of the Internet. The groups believe network neutrality protections are essential to protecting freedom of speech, educational achievement, and economic growth. The organizations endorsing these principles are:

  • American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)
  • American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
  • American Council on Education (ACE)
  • American Library Association (ALA)
  • Association of American Universities (AAU)
  • Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)
  • Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
  • Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA)
  • EDUCAUSE
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU)

Libraries and institutions of higher education are leaders in creating, fostering, using, extending, and maximizing the potential of the Internet for research, education, and the public good. These groups are extremely concerned that the recent court decision vacating two of the key “open Internet” rules creates an opportunity for Internet providers to block or degrade (e.g., arbitrarily slow) certain Internet traffic, or prioritize certain services, while relegating public interest services to the “slow lane.”

“America’s libraries collect, create, and disseminate essential information to the public over the Internet, and enable our users to create and distribute their own digital content and applications,” said American Library Association President Courtney Young in a statement. “Network neutrality is essential to ensuring open and nondiscriminatory access to Internet content and services for all. The American Library Association is proud to stand with other education and learning organizations in outlining core principles for preserving the open Internet as a vital platform for free speech, innovation, and civic engagement.”

Moving forward, the American Library Association will continue to advocate for an open Internet next week, when the organization comments on the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Jazzy Wright is the Press Officer of the American Library Association's Washington Office. Email her at jwright@alawash.org.

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