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Today, Public Knowledge joined more than 49 other public interest groups in a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urging Congress to vote against H.R. 2666, the “No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act,” because the bill would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from performing its consumer protection duties. Public Knowledge contends that the legislation would undermine the FCC’s Open Internet Order, basic consumer protection powers, and even agency oversight of broadband provider charges and business practices.
The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, Vice President of Government Affairs at Public Knowledge:
“This bill is clearly another attempt to undermine the FCC’s ability to protect consumers in the digital era. The legislation would threaten not only net neutrality, but also gut the agency’s basic ability to examine monopoly rates and broker merger conditions that benefit the public. Average Americans and small businesses rely on affordable and open internet access to find jobs, receive healthcare or compete in the new global marketplace. As Chairman Wheeler noted, this bill eliminates powers far beyond the careful forbearance enacted by the FCC in the Open Internet Order, including the discretion to review the simple reasonableness of a rate.
“The FCC’s role in protecting consumers would be severely diminished with such a recklessly crafted bill. We hope Congress will respect the FCC’s role as the guardian of the public interest and vote against this bill.”
You can view the letter here. For more information on this bill, please read our recent blog post, “The Emperor’s New Clothes: ‘Rate Regulation’ as an Excuse to Gut FCC Consumer Protection Authority.”