01.16.15

Leading Senate Democrats Join Together To Support Consumers, Open Internet For All

WASHINGTON (Friday, January 16, 2015) – Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Al Franken (Minn.), and Cory Booker (N.J.) issued a joint comment Friday in response to proposed legislation released by Republican members of Congress. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will soon vote on updated open Internet rules that will affect millions of Americans, and Republicans recently unveiled proposed legislation intended to preempt the FCC from enacting new net neutrality rules. The Democratic Senators who joined to release today’s comment have been outspoken in their support for a free and open Internet for all Americans.

Today’s comment comes on the day that a leading wireless provider, Sprint, confirmed that regulation under the FCC’s existing authority would not harm investment in mobile broadband, as opponents of net neutrality regulation have alleged.

“Senator Thune and the Republicans are right to acknowledge what nearly 4 million Americans have said in their comments to the FCC in support of net neutrality rules – that open Internet rules are critical to free speech and innovation.  We appreciate that the Republican bill also recognizes that net neutrality principles should apply regardless of the technology used to connect to the Internet. We stand ready and willing to work with our Republican colleagues, but unfortunately, the bill as currently drafted would dramatically undermine the FCC’s vital role in protecting consumers and small businesses online by limiting its enforcement and rulemaking authorities in this critically important area.  Further, the Republican bill would severely curtail the FCC’s ability to promote the deployment of broadband service.  The FCC has the necessary authority to enact the open Internet rules that millions of Americans have called for and that Republicans finally support. The Commission should act without delay.”

 

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