02.04.15

Leahy Comment On FCC Chairman Wheeler’s Proposed Net Neutrality Rules

WASHINGTON (Wednesday, February 4, 2015) –The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Wednesday proposed net neutrality rules that, if approved, will apply to all domestic broadband providers. Among other things, Wheeler proposed a ban of paid-prioritization agreements through which websites could be charged for priority access over the Internet. Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) held hearings in Vermont and Washington on the issue of net neutrality last year, and this year he reintroduced legislation that calls on the FCC to impose an outright ban on paid prioritization. Leahy released the following comments on Wheeler’s announcement:

“Internet users have now gone almost a year without crucial protections in place to help guarantee an open Internet.  Today, Chairman Wheeler took an important step forward by unveiling his plan to restore certainty to the Internet through net neutrality rules that will apply to all domestic broadband providers, including no blocking or throttling of lawful content. I welcome this announcement.

“The Chairman’s announcement that his proposal will also ban harmful paid prioritization deals is a victory for the Internet ecosystem.  Since last summer, I have been particularly focused on ensuring that the FCC adopts rules to ban pay-to-play deals that could strangle innovation from startups and small businesses, creating an Internet divided between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots.’  Targeted FCC action will protect and promote the Internet as we know it today, a dynamic platform that has led to stunning innovation and economic opportunity for millions of Americans.  The driving force of the 21st Century economy must remain open and accessible to all.  I have no doubt that that is a bipartisan goal, and I hope all sides keep that in mind when the FCC votes on February 26.”   

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