The House appears to be trying to use the budget review process to silence the agency charged with protecting consumers’ rights to access communications services like the Internet – the FCC. The House members are upset the FCC supported the interests of the public rather than big telephone and cable companies in a recent open Internet decision, so they’re hoping to deliver budget consequences to the FCC.
Several senators sent a letter today opposing the use of the budget process or the Congressional Review Act to punish the independent agency for acting to protect the open Internet.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association is disappointed that anyone would try to prevent the independent agency Congress created to uphold the public interest in access to electronic communications from doing its job.
The following comments can be attributed to CCIA Vice President Cathy Sloan:
“Today Senate leadership received a letter opposing the use of the Appropriations process or the obscure Congressional Review Act to repeal an FCC rule reflecting the 21st Century consensus that Americans are entitled to Internet freedom.
“CCIA applauds any and all Senators willing to stand up to powerful private corporate interests and defend the rights of American households and small businesses to connect to an open Internet free from commercial blocks and obstacles that serve only the business interests of their Internet access provider.
“Without a basic FCC rule, American end users will be totally powerless against fully deregulated dominant telephone and cable corporations that control our local Internet access connections.”