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Billboard ads target Republicans who want to roll back net neutrality

Billboard ads target Republicans who want to roll back net neutrality
© Courtesy of Fight For The Future

An advocacy group is launching an ad campaign targeting lawmakers who want to roll back the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules.

Fight For The Future, a pro-net neutrality advocacy group, bought billboards in six states to target Sens. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneOvernight Tech: Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up hack | Apple considers battery rebates | Regulators talk bitcoin | SpaceX launches world's most powerful rocket Apple tells senator it may give rebates to consumers who bought iPhone batteries Republican agenda clouded by division MORE (R-S.D.) and Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerMcConnell urging Mississippi gov to appoint himself if Cochran resigns: report Senate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA Trump, GOP make peace after tax win — but will it last? MORE (R-Miss.), as well as Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 House passes stopgap spending measure with defense money MORE (R-Wis.), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Reps. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnGOP Senate candidate fundraising lags behind Dems in key races Overnight Tech: Official resigns, employee fired over Hawaii fake missile alert | Employee thought drill was real attack | Amazon teams up to cut health costs | Feds subpoena major bitcoin exchange House lawmakers clash over broadband infrastructure MORE (R-Tenn.) and Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesSEC paperless mandate a bad deal for rural, elderly investors Lobbying World House retirement sets off scramble for coveted chairmanship MORE (R-Ga.).

The billboards show the lawmakers’ faces with text criticizing their stance and urging the public to call their offices.

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The billboard targeting Ryan reads: “Want slower, more expensive Internet? Rep. Paul Ryan supports Charter’s plan to destroy net neutrality.”

The billboards in Tennessee hitting Blackburn read: “Rep. Blackburn took money from Verizon. Now she wants to give ISPs [internet service providers] powers to censor, slow and tax your internet.”

In April, Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai introduced his “Restoring Internet Freedom” proposal, which would scrap the Obama-era net neutrality rules. The rules are aimed at creating a level playing field on the internet and bar broadband providers from slowing or blocking certain traffic.

Republicans such as Thune, Blackburn and others quickly backed the plan, arguing that net neutrality regulations were stifling broadband companies’ ability to innovate and provide better internet access to consumers.

But advocacy groups like Fight For The Future and industry trade groups, including the Internet Association, which represents companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, argue that without net neutrality regulations, broadband providers could take advantage of consumers by charging more for internet access and slowing down certain types of content.

“Politicians need to learn that they can’t attack free speech on the internet and expect to get away with it,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. “Voters from across the political spectrum all agree that they don’t want companies like Comcast and Verizon dictating what they can see and do online.”