Public Knowledge Senior Vice President to Testify Before Maryland Senate on Net Neutrality Bill


Today, Public Knowledge Senior Vice President Harold Feld will testify before the Maryland Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee at 1 p.m.

His testimony in the hearing on Maryland Senate Bill 287, “State Funds: Procurement of Services From Internet Service Providers” will support the bill as a necessary and vital protection for Maryland consumers and small businesses. The Maryland Senate Bill 287 would require the state only contract with internet service providers who abide by net neutrality principles of no blocking, no throttling, and no “fast lanes.”

The following may be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge:

“From its initial conception until today, the FCC has provided regulatory oversight to ensure that providers do not block or degrade access to online services on a non-discriminatory basis. Now that the FCC has abandoned this responsibility, the State of Maryland must rise to the occasion.

“Even when acting simply as a consumer of services in the marketplace, the State of Maryland has a strong interest in ensuring that the broadband access services it purchases provide access to the Open Internet, and ensure that Maryland will continue to enjoy unlimited choice of online services and content. Nor is the FCC’s claim to have preempted the states sustainable. The FCC’s own findings that it lacks authority to impose net neutrality regulation likewise deprive it of the authority to preempt the states from imposing net neutrality regulations. In short, if the FCC lacks authority to regulate, it also lacks authority to preempt.

“This past week, the State of Washington passed a net neutrality law of general applicability. In response to a question as to whether he had concerns over the FCC’s assertion of preemption, State Representative Drew Hansen replied: ‘Just because the FCC claims it has the power to preempt state law doesn’t mean it does. I can claim that I have the power to manifest unicorns on the Washington State Capitol Lawn. But if you look outside right now, there are no unicorns.’"

You may view the testimony here.

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