OCTOBER 21, 2009: MARKEY & ESHOO: NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT ON NET NEUTRALITY

In Letter to Genachowski, lawmakers urge FCC to preserve free and open Internet Ahead of Thursday’s Open Meeting

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a longstanding supporter of net neutrality and former Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s telecommunications subcommittee, and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) yesterday sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski praising the chairman for his decision to schedule a review of the network neutrality regulatory structure and urging the FCC to adopt rules formalizing the principles of non-discrimination for communications networks and transparency in network management practices for consumers.In their letter, the lawmakers urged the FCC to preserve the “open architecture” of the Internet and commended the FCC Chairman for bringing forward a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on policies to preserve the open Internet at the Commission’s Open Meeting scheduled for Thursday.

Any rules that result from your open meeting should focus on adherence to the public interest, discourage attempts to strangle the free-flow of lawful content…and provide certainty both for entrepreneurs and Internet users,” the letter stated.

In July, Markey and Eshoo introduced H.R. 3458, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, a bill to preserve and promote Internet freedom for consumers and content providers.

Rep. Markey said, “Thursday’s meeting is a significant step towards preserving the nondiscriminatory and open nature that has enabled the Internet to become a platform for innovation, job-creation and economic growth, and I hope the full Commission will follow Chairman Genachowski’s lead in this vital effort. Rules adopted by the Commission in this area would be a key complement to the bill that Chairman Waxman, Congresswoman Eshoo and I are advancing to codify these vital protections for consumers and innovators, and I look forward to working with the Commission and my colleagues in the weeks and months ahead.”

Rep. Eshoo said, "Net Neutrality rules by themselves probably will do little to break the stranglehold that the dominant Internet service providers have on consumer choice -- but Chairman Genachowski is moving us in the right direction by opening this rulemaking. What he cannot accomplish with the rulemaking process, we will do legislatively.  The bill that we have introduced will ensure that the Internet remains free and open.  We need to make sure that we enforce Network Neutrality.  Without it, we lose our innovative and competitive edge."

Rep. Markey introduced similar Internet freedom legislation in the 110th Congress, H.R. 5353, which Rep. Eshoo also co-sponsored. In the 109th Congress, Rep. Markey offered a net neutrality amendment to the COPE Act during debate in the Energy & Commerce Committee and on the House floor, but those amendments were defeated.   

 A copy of the letter can be found here: http://markey.house.gov/docs/markeyeshoofccletter.pdf

 

 

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