WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a longstanding proponent of net neutrality and author of the first ever net neutrality bill, today praised the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for beginning the process of considering new rules to preserve the open architecture of the Internet.

Today’s vote is a historic step that has been years in the making,” said Markey. “The release of proposed rules to preserve the unfettered and open nature of the Internet is the kickoff of a process that Chairman Genachowski has pledged will be open, fair and data-driven.”

The Internet enables innovation without permission, and we need to ensure that special interests cannot erect toll booths on the information superhighway that impede the innovation that has helped power our economy and create jobs.

A senior member and former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications, Technology and the Internet Subcommittee, Rep. Markey served as chairman or ranking member of the subcommittee from 1987 to 2009, during which time he was a strong advocate for competition in the communications marketplace.

“These proposed rules are an excellent complement to the net neutrality legislation that I introduced in Congress earlier this year along with Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.),” said Markey.  “As the Commission’s process moves forward, I look forward to working with the FCC and my colleagues in Congress on this vitally important issue.”

In July, Reps. 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.

A full text of the bill can be found here: http://markey.house.gov/images/PDFs/netneutralitybill.pdf

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.

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