Democrats Defend Open and Free Internet at House Subcommittee Hearing
Yesterday at an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing, Democrats fought for a free, open, and accessible Internet to spur competition, innovation, and job creation. Meanwhile, Republicans introduced a joint resolution to eliminate the Federal Communications Commission’s open Internet rules, forbidding them to implement any further rules to protect these essential qualities.
“Just prior to our hearing yesterday, we heard from a broad and diverse coalition of more than 120 organizations that oppose Republican efforts to use legislation to block the open Internet regulations,” said Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “This diverse group – which includes public interest organizations, religious leaders, technology associations, labor unions, Internet companies, and small businesses – agree that overturning the regulations would eliminate the FCC’s ability to protect innovation, speech, and commerce on broadband platforms on behalf of the American people. They are exactly right, and we should heed their words.”
“An open Internet has allowed innovative start-ups to flourish, creating tens of thousands of American jobs and new competition in areas like telephone service, advertising, video and online shopping,” said Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, the top Democrat on the Communications and Technology Subcommittee. “But without clear ‘rules of the road,’ large corporations will be able to carve up the Internet into fast and slow lanes, charging a toll for content, and blocking innovators from entering the information superhighway. I believe consumers, not corporations, should be in the driver’s seat to pick the content they view, listen and watch over the Internet, and Democrats will oppose all efforts to overturn the rules.”
The FCC received more than 100,000 comments from more than 2 million people during its rulemaking process—90 percent of whom were in favor of open Internet rules. Over a hundred public interest organizations, civil rights groups, religious groups, small businesses, unions, education advocates, and technology company associations expressed their support for preserving a free and open Internet, and opposing efforts to overturn the FCC rules.
Copies of all the letters of support can be accessed here.
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