WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) introduced riders to an appropriations bill that would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from using its budget to implement the Open Internet rules and protect Net Neutrality. The riders in the House financial services subcommittee’s appropriations bill, which funds the FCC and other agencies, would prevent those rules from going into effect until after the current court cases challenging them have been decided. The riders would also interfere with the FCC’s rule-making process and undercut the agency’s ability to enforce the rules.
The FCC adopted these rules in February when it voted to reclassify high-speed Internet access as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act. The rules will prohibit Internet service providers from blocking or throttling online content and ban paid-prioritization schemes that could create Internet slow lanes.
Free Press Action Fund Policy Director Matt Wood made the following statement:
“This sneak attack on Net Neutrality would undermine the historic actions the FCC took in February and leave Internet users everywhere defenseless against the cable industry as its spurious legal challenges wind their way through the courts. Anyone who supports this measure is taking the side of the phone and cable lobby and hurting the rest of us. Trying to hide such an important measure hundreds of pages into an appropriations bill, on an issue the public overwhelmingly supports, shows why so many people distrust and are disgusted by business in Washington.
“What these members of Congress either don’t know or don’t want you to know is that most Americans – including a large majority of Republicans, according to polls – support Net Neutrality. These members are going to hear from people across the country who will stand for nothing less than the real Net Neutrality protections the FCC restored.
“That a few members of Congress use backroom deals and backdoor tricks to oppose and undermine common-sense open Internet principles shows how little they know or care about the law or the overwhelming support these rules have from businesses, innovators and individual Internet users everywhere.
“The Internet has flourished precisely because we’ve always had safeguards to protect its open architecture. These rules prevent unreasonable interference and discrimination from our broadband providers. In adopting the flexible Title II framework for high-speed access, the FCC did right by Internet users and the innovation economy. Congress should respect the open Internet and stop trying to help a few monopoly-minded phone and cable companies seize control of the Web.”
Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more atwww.freepress.net
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