Reddit Co-Founder: Call The Government And Defend Net Neutrality

06/09/2014 05:51 pm ET

People have been ranting about net neutrality on Reddit for years. Now, the co-founder of the "front page of the Internet" wants Redditors to take their complaints one step further by calling the Federal Communications Commission itself.

"We're going to do this old fashioned way because there's really something powerful about a phone call," Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian said while dialing the FCC's hotline while on HuffPost Live on Monday. Upon receiving an automated voicemail, he pressed "1" and then "0," hoping to reach a person.

After a brief hold, he was connected with an FCC representative named Sarah.

"I wanted to call because I live in New York and I'm really worried about the future of the Internet," he told her.

Last month, the FCC formally proposed new rules that would allow Internet providers to charged extra money for faster and more reliable online service. Critics says that the FCC's proposal, which is currently up for public comment before receiving final approval, violates the principles of net neutrality, which stipulate that all Internet data should be treated equally.

Without the government enforcing strict net neutrality rules, using the Internet will become more expensive for both consumers and companies, advocates say.

Sarah agreed to push Ohanian's message along to the FCC higher-ups. While she claimed to have received a "lot of phone calls overall regarding this," she declined to say if she agreed with the net neutrality cause.

Ohanian stressed that it's going to take a lot of phone calls for the FCC to get the message -- and the initiative will likely demand more than just that.

"This has to become a toxic issue to be against," he said. "This is going to have to be something that becomes a campaign issue ... The FCC is essentially beholden to the White House, in a sense. But Congress can also have a tremendous impact on them. So calling your Senators, calling your representative, is another angle."

Watch the clip above to hear more from Alexis Ohanian on net neutrality. The full segment is here.

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