Four lawmakers have written to the Federal Communications Commission this week urging it to act on the issue of net neutrality regulation – inspired by Google’s and Verizon’s proposal last week. All four are Democrats who serve on the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet. The group wrote to the FCC asking it to "take action to preserve the free, open nature of the Internet".
The letter goes on to point out that the Google-Verizon proposal might make "certain Internet content" "prioritized," which they say is a grave threat to the "principles of net neutrality." The group, lead by Ed Markey (D – MA), includes Anna Eshoo (D – CA), Mike Doyle (D – PA), and Jay Inslee (D – WA).
Full statements below:
Rep. Markey said: "No private interest should be permitted to carve up the Internet to suit its own purposes. The open Internet has been an innovation engine that has helped power our economy, and fiber-optic fast lanes or tiers that slow down certain content would dim the future of the Internet to the detriment of consumers, competition, job creation and the free-flow of ideas. In our letter, we express our strong support for Chariman Genachowski’s ‘Third Way’ proposal to bring the benefits of broadband to all Americans and encourage the FCC to move forward to preserve the free, open nature of the Internet."
Rep. Eshoo said: "In my Silicon Valley district there are people building the next generation of internet breakthroughs. We cannot undermine their success by ‘cable-izing’ the Internet. That’s why my colleagues and I remain steadfast in our commitment to net neutrality. The reactions to the legislative proposal from Google and Verizon demonstrate that it is not nearly strong enough to meet this standard. This letter is a clear statement of the principles that we believe are necessary to preserve openness on the Internet to allow the kind of innovation and growth that is the hallmark of today’s Internet. I remain optimistic that Chairman Genachowski will be able to find a path forward that honors these principles."
Rep. Inslee said: "Americans online experience shouldn’t be dictated by corporate CEO’s. Innovation and creativity online have given rise to millions of jobs and tremendous economic growth, in large part because individual consumers have been free to access what they want. The principles we have set forth in this letter coincide with that fact. Net neutrality is not about imposing a new set of rules, net neutrality is about preserving the open Internet and empowering consumers and small businesses to bring the next generation of entrepreneurial drive to the world wide web."
Rep. Doyle said: "The power of the Internet comes from the ability of everyone to find anything anywhere – or to put anything on it for the world to see. The internet’s value comes from the fact that it’s not like any other communications platform before it. I am concerned that the proposal put forward by Google and Verizon could have the effect of choking off much of the most important, creative, and valuable contributions the Internet can make to the idea-driven economy of the 21st century. At a time when research shows that low-income Americans are the fastest-growing users of the mobile web, it would be short-sighted to wall-off those users from the open internet and all of its benefits. My constituents know the benefit of an open Internet and they’ve urged me to press the FCC to address this issue quickly. That’s why I signed this letter to the Chairman Genachowski urging him to continue to work to preserve those essential qualities of the Internet."