House Committee Discusses Net Neutrality; CCIA Supports Strong, Enforceable Open Internet Rules

February 7, 2019

Washington — Two former FCC chairs appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee today to testify on the FCC’s repeal of its 2015 net neutrality rules. The Committee discussed the importance of nondiscrimination and internet access and what Congress should do in terms of legislation.

Over the past decade, the Computer & Communications Industry Association has filed numerous legal briefs supporting net neutrality, including a court brief in the case before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals last week. In that case, CCIA argued that the FCC failed to justify its actions under Chairman Pai to abdicate its role in net neutrality protection.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“We appreciate the discussion on net neutrality rules to promote innovation, free speech, and economic opportunity. Since the FCC abdicated its responsibility to oversee broadband networks and protect consumers, there has been uncertainty for consumers and companies that offer internet services and rely on them.

“For federal legislation to be effective, we would need to see strong, clear bright line rules preventing blocking, throttling, and discrimination like paid prioritization. We would need to see strong enforcement from the FCC. Furthermore, legislation must deal with interconnection.

“Many Members at the hearing expressed an interest in seeking legislation to codify net neutrality rules in statute. However, some exchanges between Members and witnesses revealed attempts to create confusion over what net neutrality rules mean and to whom they would apply. Bringing in edge services is an inappropriate and disingenuous attempt to confuse the issue of open internet access.”

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