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Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) filed a discharge petition to force the Senate to vote on a Congressional Review Act resolution to reinstate the agency’s net neutrality rules. The CRA would roll back the agency’s 2017 vote to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, rules which the D.C. Circuit Court upheld not once, but twice.
The net neutrality rules prevented broadband providers from blocking websites, throttling web traffic, or creating “fast lanes” only for those able to pay for prioritization. Millions of Americans expressed support for these rules by submitting comments with the FCC leading up to the 2015 Open Internet Order, and millions of Americans opposed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s rollback of these rules.
Public Knowledge opposes Chairman Pai’s deeply troubling break with almost 20 years of bipartisan FCC support for the Open Internet, and is also suing the FCC. Public Knowledge encourages all Americans to contact their representatives to demand that Congress overturn the FCC’s mistake that is far outside of mainstream America’s opinion.
The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, Vice President at Public Knowledge:
“Public Knowledge is grateful to the 50 Republican, Democrat, and Independent Senators who have already expressed their support for the CRA resolution to overturn the net neutrality repeal. With the discharge petition filed, it is now time for the rest of the U.S. Senate to listen to the overwhelming view of the American people and vote to restore clear, simple net neutrality rules that protect Americans’ right to choose what they see online -- not gatekeeper broadband providers.
“Only in Washington is this a controversial issue, due to the influence of a few big cable and telecommunications companies like Comcast and Verizon who have the technical ability and financial incentive to give preference to some content online, including their own.
“Americans do not want access to the internet to look like access to cable channels, where ISPs set up paid schemes to prioritize some websites and services over others. That’s why recent polls show that 86 percent of Americans want to keep strong net neutrality rules, including 82 percent of Republicans and 90 percent of Democrats. These rules are supported by thousands of small businesses from main street to silicon valley. The rules promoted billions of dollars in investment in both broadband deployment and new innovative services, and the court upheld them as legally sound twice.
“Americans are pleading for Congress to restore the FCC’s net neutrality rules and now is the perfect time for lawmakers to act by voting for the CRA resolution that overturns the FCC’s 2017 repeal. With the many difficult things to fix around technology policy these days, this vote is an easy one if senators listen to the American people.
“Broadband providers shouldn’t serve as the gatekeepers of online content, controlling what we see and do online. Americans should contact their representatives and urge them to vote for the resolution to restore the FCC’s net neutrality rules.”