14 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 293 — 2018 The public interest missions of research libraries in providing access to information depend on a neutral platform for car- rying information to users... The Importance of Net Neutrality Net neutrality protects freedom of speech and supports innovation, by ensuring a level playing field online for all types of speech, ensuring that networks do not discriminate against particular information by slowing, blocking, or otherwise manipulating access to certain content. The internet has been called a “modern town square” because it provides a place for the free exchange of ideas and experiences. At its core, net neutrality acts as a nondiscrimination law, ensuring that marginalized viewpoints and nonprofit voices have an equal opportunity to reach audiences online. Research libraries depend on an open internet to fulfill their missions and serve their communities. The public interest missions of research libraries in providing access to information depend on a neutral platform for carrying information to users, including the numerous ways libraries support and provide access to vast data sets preserve and share the cultural record provide interconnected research and learning experiences and facilitate discovery.1 Large data sets and certain applications, such as those used for distance learning or telehealth, are particularly subject to latency and could be impacted in the absence of strong net neutrality protections. The recent rollback of net neutrality provisions allows ISPs to engage in harmful behavior, breaking down the internet into fast lanes and slow lanes, provided that they disclose this information to their users. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be tasked with enforcing the disclosure rules. The new order also preempts state regulatory authorities from enacting their own versions of net neutrality rules. The 3-2 vote, along party lines, to reverse the Open Internet Order was highly controversial for a number of reasons—both substantive and procedural—which are detailed below.