Pelosi Sends Letter to FCC Chairman Wheeler Urging Robust Protections for Net Neutrality


Washington, D.C. – Today, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler urging the FCC to take action so that innovators and consumers enjoy robust protections for net neutrality and the open Internet.  Leader Pelosi’s letter comes in the wake of a DC Circuit court decision that eliminated a key provision in the 2010 Open Internet Rules.

As Leader Pelosi wrote, “I oppose special Internet fast lanes, only open to those firms large enough to pay big money or fraught enough to give up big stakes in their company.  Fortunately, the court’s decision gave the Commission a clear path forward to prohibit discrimination and paid prioritization.  The law allows the Commission to protect consumers and innovators with strong, but tailored rules defending the open Internet from a wide variety of threats.”

“Over a million Americans directly contacted your agency during the initial round of comments, and millions more signed petitions.  In fact, many Americans filed comments with your agency over the broadband connection on their mobile phone or tablet.  This proves how important it is for the FCC to ensure all Americans are able to enjoy the same robust net neutrality protections on wireless that they should enjoy on a wired connection,” Leader Pelosi continued.

Below is the full text of the letter:

 

September 8, 2014

 

The Honorable Tom Wheeler

Chairman, Federal Communications Commission

445 12th Street SW

Washington, D.C. 20554

Dear Chairman Wheeler,

Thank you for working to restore rules protecting net neutrality after the DC Circuit’s decision to eliminate a key provision in the 2010 Open Internet Rules.  These rules need to be properly in place to protect consumers and innovators.

I remain concerned, however, that the Federal Communications Commission may act in a way that would permit broadband providers to discriminate against the content consumers and innovators create and enjoy.  Innovators prefer bright-line rules and worry the proposed rules would force them into commercial arrangements that require payment of tolls in cash or equity to get their ideas on the Internet.

I oppose special Internet fast lanes, only open to those firms large enough to pay big money or fraught enough to give up big stakes in their company.  Fortunately, the court’s decision gave the Commission a clear path forward to prohibit discrimination and paid prioritization.  The law allows the Commission to protect consumers and innovators with strong, but tailored rules defending the open Internet from a wide variety of threats.

I believe the FCC should follow the court’s guidance and reclassify broadband as a Telecommunications Service under Title II of the Communications Act.   Importantly, Title II designation also gives the FCC certainty to protect consumers from fraudulent billing practices and privacy infringements while maintaining the guarantee that Voice-over-Internet Protocol calls and other data will reach their destination without interference, as called for in the Network Compact.  The law’s forbearance mechanism is an appropriate tool to refine modern rules and will prevent the FCC from overburdening broadband providers.

Over a million Americans directly contacted your agency during the initial round of comments, and millions more signed petitions.  In fact, many Americans filed comments with your agency over the broadband connection on their mobile phone or tablet. This proves how important it is for the FCC to ensure all Americans are able to enjoy the same robust net neutrality protections on wireless that they should enjoy on a wired connection.

Thank you for your consideration of my views on this matter, which will have a global, and domestic, impact.

best regards,

 

NANCY PELOSI

Democratic Leader

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