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Today, Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA) introduced the Save the Internet Act to restore the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order establishing net neutrality rules. Chairman Pai’s FCC repealed these rules in 2017, ignoring the millions of Americans who support net neutrality. Public Knowledge welcomes the bill and applauds Sen. Markey and Rep. Doyle for heeding the wishes of the American people.
The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, Vice President of Public Knowledge:
“Senator Markey, Rep. Doyle and allies have put forward a simple, consensus approach to restoring strong net neutrality protections, and we are happy to support their proposal. This proposal is simple yet strong because it relies on restoring the FCC rules that were upheld in court twice. The 2015 rules were carefully crafted to have a light touch on broadband through its many forbearances. It also avoids many of the pitfalls of other weak proposals this year that ask Americans to trade away important consumer protections at the FCC in exchange for only pieces of these net neutrality protections.
“The Markey-Doyle proposal is a consensus approach not only because it has broad bipartisan support, but it has support from a diverse and broad array of industry, nonprofit, racial justice, and other organizations. The 2015 rules were supported by 86 percent of Americans in polls including 80 percent or higher from Republicans and independents. They were upheld in the Senate in a bipartisan vote and garnered bipartisan support in the House last year before the year ended. The 2015 rules were supported by technology companies large and small who are driving innovation in our economy.
“The rules were also supported by main street small businesses of all varieties who worry about being able to compete in a free market online. Rural communities need these protections to ensure monopoly broadband providers don't use interconnection points to charge rural communities more than their suburban and urban peers. Activists of all political stripes and small content creators rely on these rules to have a fair chance to reach their audience online without paying extra to deliver content. Only in Washington, where well-funded lobbyists for big cable and broadband providers roam the halls of Congress by the hundreds, do we hear complaints about these common-sense rules of the road.
“It is clear that while these rules have been repealed, broadband providers have slowly and carefully moved to erode the concepts of net neutrality in their business practices and their advocacy in Washington, D.C. Now is the time for Congress to respond to the overwhelming call for restoring net neutrality rules, and the Markey-Doyle proposal is an excellent, consensus path forward. Every American should demand that their Senators and Representatives vote to approve it immediately before further harm can be done to the consumer choices and a free market online.”
For more information on why Americans need strong net neutrality protections, please view our recent blog post, “Broadband Providers Are Quietly Taking Advantage of an Internet Without Net Neutrality Protections.” You may also view our intervenors’ brief for more details on why Public Knowledge strongly opposes the FCC’s net neutrality repeal -- in court.