March 9, 2011: Markey Statement on FCC Open Internet Rule at Comm and Tech Hearing

HEARING ON H.J. RES. 37, A RESOLUTION DISAPPROVING THE RULE SUBMITTED BY THE FCC RELATING TO PRESERVING THE OPEN INTERNET AND BROADBAND PRACTICES

REPRESENTATIVE EDWARD MARKEY (D-MA) OPENING STATEMENT

MARCH 9, 2011

Last December, the FCC promulgated a commonsense, light-touch regulatory framework for ensuring that the Internet remains an open, level playing field for all users.
 
Why is an open Internet so important?  It enables freedom of expression and the sharing of ideas across town or around the world; it prevents a single entity - whether it’s a broadband behemoth or the government – from exercising total control; and it’s a vital tool that helps businesses compete and expand, pumping life into our economy.
 
One of our witnesses here this morning - Robin Chase – embodies the importance of an open Internet to our economy.  Ms. Chase co-founded and ran Zipcar, a car sharing service that’s available in more than 200 cities across the U.S..
 
She used the open nature of the Internet to build her innovative business from the ground up, without having to ask Verizon, AT&T, Comcast or any other carrier for permission.
 
Here are Zipcars current numbers:
 
474 full time employees
$186 million in revenue
540,000 members
 
That’s what the Open Internet means to our economy.
 
Unfortunately, today we have before the Subcommittee an effort by the Majority to undo the FCC’s sensible Open Internet Rule.
 
It’s not just a solution in search of a problem – it’s a RESolution in search of a problem.
 
Comcast has agreed, as part of its joint venture with NBC Universal, to abide by the Open Internet Order for 7 years, regardless of the outcome of any judicial proceeding.
 
AT&T has said it can live with the rules.
 
Consumers rely on the freedom that the Internet provides.  Our economy requires this freedom to promote innovation and encourage investment.
 
I oppose this unwise effort to repeal the Open Internet rule and yield back the balance of my time.