Small business, health and technology leaders highlight the importance of a free and open internet for rural America


Senator Markey’s CRA resolution needs only one more vote to pass and overturn the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality rules


Washington (April 26, 2018) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) were today joined by community leaders from North Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia on a call to support net neutrality and highlight the economic growth and job creation potential for rural America through a free and open internet. An overwhelming 87 percent of rural Americans have no choice for high-speed fixed broadband, leaving them especially vulnerable to internet service providers who could block, slow down, or prioritize websites because of the repeal of net neutrality rules.

In December 2017, the FCC voted to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, which the D.C. Circuit Court upheld in 2016. Senator Markey now has 50 supporters for his Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval that would reverse the FCC’s repeal of the Open Internet Order.


“With a free and open internet, the world is at your fingertips, no matter where you live,” said Senator Markey. “That’s especially important for those living in rural communities, who may not have easy access to healthcare facilities, financial institutions, and universities near their home. In order to protect this vital utility that all Americans rely on, we need to fully restore robust net neutrality rules at the FCC. Rural America is critical to creating the political firestorm of support needed to secure the one more vote necessary to overturn the FCC’s decision and save net neutrality.”  


“Net neutrality helps ensure families and companies in rural communities are able to compete in a 21st century economy,” said Senator Klobuchar. “The FCC’s decision will limit competition, hinder innovation, and hurt small businesses. I’ve long fought for a free and open internet—it’s good for small businesses, consumers and rural communities across the country that need a level playing field.”


“I think we sell ourselves short if we aim for anything less than providing universal access to high speed, affordable broadband,” Whitney Kimball Coe, Center for Rural Strategies. “To set the bar lower keeps rural America on the wrong side of the digital divide. It keeps us in the slow lane.”


“In order to maximize access to healthcare in our rural communities, we need net neutrality,” Beth O’Connor, Virginia Rural Health Association. “We call upon Congress to restore the 2015 protections and prioritize health and public safety in our rural communities.  The transformative effect of the internet must be accessible in rural America.”


“I stand for a free and open Internet, without censorship, where winners and losers are not decided by the companies selling Internet access, but rather by the sites and services offering the best ideas,” Brandon Medenwald, Co-Founder, Simply Made Apps. “The basic principles of Net Neutrality are the same as the basic principles of a free market – full information and uninhibited access allows for competition, which produces the best results for consumers.