Markey Decries Republican Net Neutrality Bill as a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Republican bill would harm consumers, undermine competition in the telecommunications marketplace, and prevent local choice


Washington (January 16, 2014) – As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prepares to vote on new net neutrality rules at its February meeting, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today blasted new Republican net neutrality legislation as a giveaway to the big broadband companies that would harm consumers and do little to protect an open, unfettered Internet.


“Democrats and Republicans both agree on the need for net neutrality protections, but this Republican proposal should be called the Big Broadband Baron Act. It is a legislative wolf in sheep’s clothing, offering select few safeguards while undermining basic consumer, privacy and accessibility protections.  It would harm low-income, disabled, senior and rural consumers, and undermine competition in the telecommunications marketplace.


“This proposal would prevent the FCC from enacting the strongest net neutrality rules, promoting universal service, protecting privacy, ensuring accessibility, and encouraging municipal broadband networks. This is a wish list for the big broadband companies looking to protect their interests and avoid consumer protections.


“Rather than pursuing this damaging legislative proposal, the FCC should use the clear authority granted them by Congress to vote on strong net neutrality rules in February and reclassify broadband under Title II. The future of the Internet as we know it depends on it.”     


Last month, Senator Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, was joined by 38 Senate and House Democrats in calling on the FCC to protect an open and free Internet by immediately finalizing new net neutrality rules. On Wednesday, the one-year anniversary since the D.C. District Court invalidated the Commission’s previous net neutrality rules, Senator Markey took to the Senate floor to make the case for the strongest net neutrality rules possible. In July 2013, Senator Markey and 12 Senate Democrats called on the FCC to protect the openness and freedom of the Internet by reclassifying broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Ac