Leahy Panel Hears Testimony Urging FCC To Support NET NEUTRALITY --

. . . Leahy Chairs Second SJC Hearing On Impact Of FCC Net Neutrality Proposal

An Overwhelming Call To Protect A Free & Open Internet

A record 3.7 million Americans have weighed in with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on its proposed rules to protect an open Internet.  An overwhelming number of these comments from hardworking Americans called on the FCC to enact meaningful rules that will protect consumers and preserve competition online. 

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), author of the bicameral Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act that would support consumers by requiring the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ban paid prioritization deals, chaired a field hearing on the issue in Vermont in July.  At Wednesday’s hearing in Washington, witnesses provided compelling testimony on how Internet rules impact everyday consumers, creators, small businesses and innovators.

In his opening statement, Leahy said that “Net neutrality matters for our economic growth and competitiveness.  It matters because the Internet is an equalizer that can help break cycles of unemployment and poverty.  It matters because the online world is the ultimate tool for free expression and democracy.” Leahy’s opening statement at Wednesday’s hearing can be read online.

Witnesses Call For Upholding A Free & Open Internet


The FCC must institute strong open Internet rules that ban unjust and unreasonable discrimination by Internet service providers… It’s a civil rights issue. And, it is my hope that, for future generations of minority and low-income youth, having a platform where they can express themselves on an equal playing field will be nothing out of the ordinary because, for us, it has been nothing short of revolutionary.” Ruth Livier, Writer, Independent Producer, and Actress


“I believe we are at a crossroads. The rules the FCC is now considering will shape the Internet ecosystem for many years to come…The combination of these new technical abilities and these proposed rules will dramatically increase the cost of creating and distributing Internet applications.” Brad Burnham, Managing Partner, Union Square Ventures


“As connected technologies become the interface between ourselves and our world, we must continue to be vigilant about the fundamental principles of free expression, personal privacy, and freedom of movement and association, among so many others.  It is an important time to rededicate ourselves to these values and for the FCC and Congress to articulate clear guidance about the rights of the individual online.” Nuala O’Connor, President and CEO, Center for Democracy & Technology


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