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Opinion Northwest

Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

Topic: net neutrality

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September 11, 2014 at 6:01 AM

Seattle takes bold and necessary stand for net neutrality

The online homes for the City of Seattle and Mayor Ed Murray became protest sites on Wednesday, part of the nationwide “Internet slowdown” effort to oppose proposed federal regulations that would create a two-lane highway on the Internet — fast for those companies that can afford premium prices and slow for everyone else.

As seen in the screenshot below, a buffering icon signifying slower speeds was added to the Office of the Mayor’s website. In a blog post, Murray called on the Federal Communications Commission to preserve an open Internet that is equitable.

Screenshot of Mayor Ed Murray's website on Wednesday.

Screenshot of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s website on Wednesday.

Do you agree with the mayor’s stance? The Seattle Times editorial board does, as stated in numerous editorials over the past year.

Here’s an excerpt from a July 19 editorial:


Comments | Topics: net neutrality, Seattle

August 14, 2014 at 6:03 AM

FCC should listen to tech-savvy Seattle and preserve open Internet

Well, Seattle residents have spoken. Many of them, anyway, in favor of preserving net neutrality and against creating a two-lane Internet highway in which Internet providers could charge some users more for faster access and connectivity. The Federal Communications Commission recently released about 1.1 million comments from its first comment period.  TechCrunch’s initial analysis found…


Comments | Topics: fcc, net neutrality, Seattle

June 3, 2014 at 6:05 AM

HBO’s John Oliver to Internet commenters: ‘Channel your anger’

Comedian and host John Oliver delivered an epic diatribe Sunday night on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight”  against cable companies seeking to create a “fast track” at a premium price for popular websites.

If you haven’t tracked this issue or are looking for a good laugh, watch the segment below. (WARNING: Oliver uses some strong language throughout the commentary. The video contains several “beep” sounds, but viewers will notice it’s still obvious what he’s saying. So — listen with headphones on if you’re at work or around kids.)

The gist of Oliver’s argument is this: If cable companies such as Comcast and Time Warner (which are trying to merge into one mega-company) can make net neutrality sound as mundane as possible, no one will care about their effort to fundamentally change the Internet, where all information is available at the same speed.

“The cable companies have figured out if you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring,” he says. 


Comments | Topics: fcc, hbo, john oliver

May 16, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Raw video: Seattle protesters call on FCC to protect open Internet

Over the next four months, the Federal Communications Commission is likely to hear an earful from Americans outraged over the prospect of a “fast lane” connection for websites willing and able to pay top dollar to Internet service providers. Here’s an excerpt from The New York Times’ news coverage of Thursday’s contentious meeting in…


Comments | Topics: free press, net neutrality, open internet

May 15, 2014 at 6:02 AM

Rally against FCC’s plans to end era of open Internet

Updated at 9:32 a.m. to reflect the FCC’s vote and to include statements from lawmakers.

Original story:

Today is the day.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is scheduled to propose rule changes that could end the open Internet as we know it and create a fast lane for Internet service providers willing to pay a premium. (Read The Seattle Times’ May 11 and May 13 editorials. Share your thoughts on the Opinion Northwest blog.)

The hearing begins at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (7:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time). View streaming video on the FCC’s website.

L to R: Commissioner Ajit Pai, Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Chairman Tom Wheeler, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Commissioner Michael O’Rielly. Commissioners Group Photo, November 2013

Members of the Federal Communications Commission. Left to right: Ajit Pai, Mignon Clyburn, Chairman Tom Wheeler, Jessica Rosenworcel and Michael O’Rielly. (Photo courtesy FCC)

Take action

Visit for more information, graphics, videos and resources to share with your communities.

Here in Washington, a rally associated with the watchdog group Free Press is scheduled for Thursday at noon. Here are the details, via

Seattle FCC Office, 11410 NE 122nd Way (Map)
Kirkland, WA 98034
Thursday, May 15

Rally scheduled from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Elected officials unite in opposition to net neutrality (This section will be updated as lawmakers’ responses are received.)

On May 9, 10 U.S. senators (not including Washington’s Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell) sent a letter to Wheeler, strongly urging the FCC to pursue a rule-making process that ensures the Internet remains “open to all, and making sure that Internet access is free from the threat of blocking, discrimination, and pay-to-play schemes.” To U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell‘s credit, she offered the following statement in a April 24 press release:


Comments | Topics: fcc, net neutrality, open internet

May 14, 2014 at 6:01 AM

Tell us what you think about the FCC’s net-neutrality proposal

A surge of opposition should prompt Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to scrap his plan to create a tiered Internet. Under his ill-advised proposal before federal regulators, websites willing to pay premium prices to Internet service providers would be able to reach customers and run faster than those that don’t. ISPs like Time Warner and Comcast could charge higher rates to companies such as, Google and Microsoft. Start-ups unable to pay higher ISP fees would be hobbled.

The easiest way to learn why net neutrality is such a big deal is to view the video below, courtesy of the watchdog group Free Press. (It’s less than two minutes long.)


Comments | Topics: federal communications commission, free press, internet