Lawmakers to FCC: “Now that the FCC has a full complement of commissioners, we urge you to act to protect the free and open internet for all Americans.”
Washington (September 25, 2023) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) led 25 of their Senate colleagues today in writing to Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expeditiously reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act and restore net neutrality protections. Doing so will allow the FCC to effectively protect consumers from harmful practices online, promote affordable access to the internet, enhance public safety, increase marketplace competition, and take other important steps to benefit our nation’s digital future.
“Only with Title II classification can the FCC prohibit unreasonable and unjust practices of broadband providers, effectively protect network resiliency and national security, ensure service quality, expand internet access, and combat anti-competitive practices. The FCC is the agency with expertise in broadband policy, and reclassifying broadband as a Title II service is a requisite step in the FCC’s efforts to serve the American people and conduct proper oversight of broadband internet,” wrote the Senators.
The Senators continue, “You have unequivocally condemned the FCC’s past actions to roll back net neutrality policies and relinquish FCC authority over broadband. Now that the FCC has a full complement of commissioners, we urge you to act to protect the free and open internet for all Americans. We commend you for your leadership and appreciate your attention to this important topic.”
The letter is cosigned by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai’i), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Angus King (I-Maine).
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.
Senators Markey and Wyden previously introduced the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act, legislation that would accurately classify broadband internet access as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act, giving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the appropriate authority to reinstate net neutrality protections. In 2006, Senators Markey and Wyden introduced the first neutrality bills in the House of Representatives and Senate, respectively.