WASHINGTON - (Update: Adding Merkley comments)
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement Tuesday in response to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s announcement that he plans to shred the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order and remove net neutrality protections that prevent ISPs from blocking, throttling, or otherwise discriminating against content online.
“You’ve got to hand it to Chairman Pai: he really gets the job done for the titans of Big Cable,” Wyden said.“Tearing down net neutrality is the crowning achievement of the most anti-consumer FCC Chair in history. Consumers, rural Americans, small businesses and pretty much everyone except Big Cable executives will lose out thanks to this terrible proposal.”
For more than 20 years, Sen. Wyden has fought to protect the open internet and expand America’s digital economy. He repeatedly called on the FCC to create strong rules to preserve net neutrality. Sen. Wyden joined Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) and 26 other members of Congress in submitting an amicus brief supporting the FCC’s authority to reclassify broadband under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.
He also authored the Internet Tax Freedom Act, recently made permanent, which protects the internet from multiple and discriminatory taxes. Sen. Wyden continues to stand for policies that preserve the Internet as a platform for learning, speech and commerce and a level playing field for businesses.
Learn more about Sen. Wyden’s fight for the free and open internet here: http://www.wyden.senate.gov/net-neutrality.
Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., released the following statement on Pai's proposal to dismantle net neutrality rules, which he said paves the way for internet providers to block or slow down websites or charge consumers extra fees for quality internet service.
Merkley had pushed the previous FCC chair to take a stronger approach to net neutrality that would better protect consumers and American innovation.
“Today’s news is a massive blow to pretty much anyone who uses the Internet,” Merkley said. “Consumers and entrepreneurs alike need a free, open and competitive Internet. What has made the Internet the most powerful tool of the 21st century is that it’s a level playing field, where an interesting idea or an innovative startup can reach millions of people no matter whom it came from.
“Now, the FCC Chair wants to allow the Internet to become a place where big telecom companies can act as gatekeepers or toll collectors, and only the wealthy and powerful can play. This is a disaster. Preventing ‘throttling’ and paid ‘fast lanes’ was a huge step forward for consumers and for American innovation, and reversing those rules is yet another way the Trump administration is prioritizing the privileged and powerful over small businesses and consumers.”