Consumer Reports announced its support for the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act introduced today by Senators Edward J. Markey and Ron Wyden. If passed, the bill would reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service and restore oversight of internet service providers (ISPs) to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Granting the FCC jurisdiction of broadband as a telecommunications service will allow the Commission to adopt common sense rules to prevent ISPs from blocking or throttling content. Since federal net neutrality rules were officially lifted in 2018, there is no legal prohibition that stops ISPs from slowing or blocking sites that compete with their own properties, or speeding content from online services that agree to pay a “paid-prioritization” fee.
“Access to a fast, reliable, and affordable internet connection is more essential to Americans than ever. We applaud Senators Markey and Wyden for introducing this critical piece of legislation that will call broadband what it is: a telecommunications service properly overseen by the FCC like all telecommunications services are. This common sense bill will help the FCC hold these ISPs accountable from carrying out anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices, and permit them to restore net neutrality rules which is something Consumer Reports has long supported.” says Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumer Reports.
A 2021 nationally representative Consumer Reports survey confirms just how important consumers value access to the internet, with 76 percent of Americans agreeing that internet service is as important as electricity or water service in today’s world. A nearly equal percentage of consumers, 75 percent, rely on the internet every single day. And 86 percent of consumers need access to the internet at least five days a week.
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