Senator Leahy, like all Vermonters, understands that the internet is a platform for free expression and innovation, and it should be a platform where the best ideas and services can reach consumers based on their merit and content, not on a financial relationship with a service provider.
That is why Senator Leahy was extremely concerned when the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2010 open internet rules were struck down earlier this year. In the absence of meaningful net neutrality rules, the internet can become a place where broadband providers charge tolls to websites or applications in order to reach end users.
The FCC opened a public comment period for proposals on how to reinstate net neutrality rules. However, Senator Leahy remains concerned of the possibility that new rules will still allow tolls for access.
In June, Senator Leahy introduced bicameral legislation with Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) to prevent a this disastrous possibility. The Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act would require the Federal Communications Commission to prohibit paid prioritization agreements between Internet Service Provider’s and content providers on the last mile internet connection, the connection between the Internet Service Provider and the consumer.
Senator Leahy will be holding a Senate Judiciary Committee field hearing in Vermont on July 1 to examine how the FCC’s proposed open internet rules will impact public access to the Internet, entrepreneurs, and small businesses, and to put a stop to pay-to-play arrangements that will undoubtedly harm innovation and entrepreneurship online.
For more information…
You can learn more about Senator Leahy's July 1 field hearing here.
You can learn more about Senator Leahy's proposed legislation here.
You can read the text of Senator Leahy's bill here.