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Consumers Union Urges House Action as Net Neutrality Repeal Goes into Effect

Monday, June 11, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, today called on House lawmakers to take action on pending legislation that would reverse the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules, which goes into effect today. The bill, which passed the Senate with bipartisan support last month, would restore protections that prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking, slowing, or giving preferential treatment to any internet content.

Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, said, “With today’s net neutrality repeal in full effect, the FCC has essentially handed the keys to the internet to service providers — many of them who face little or no competition — with a vested interest in making the internet as profitable for them as possible. Internet providers are now free to move forward on the anti-competitive practices they were flirting with before these rules were passed, including throttling content and paid prioritization schemes that place smaller businesses at a disadvantage and ultimately cost consumers more. Without action from House lawmakers, it’s not a matter of if these anti-consumer practices are implemented, but when.”

Consumers Union is joining with a diverse group of stakeholders for a day of action today to coincide with the FCC’s unpopular repeal going into effect. Consumers can visit https://action.consumerreports.org/savenetneutrality to send a message to their Representative telling them to support the legislation to restore net neutrality rules.

Consumer support for net neutrality rules has remained consistently high, with poll after poll finding bipartisan support for net neutrality rules. A recent nationally-representative survey by Consumer Reports found the majority of Americans support net neutrality rules to prevent internet service providers from blocking or discriminating against lawful content on the internet, while 67 percent who disagree that providers should be able to choose which websites, apps or streaming services customers can access.

Schwantes said, “Despite the FCC’s choice to ignore the millions of consumers who voiced their support for net neutrality rules, the success of this effort in the Senate was largely attributable to the overwhelming output of public support for net neutrality. Lawmakers should be held accountable to their constituents, so it’s critical that they hear from the majority of the Americans that support this bill. It’s time for the House to follow the Senate’s leadership and vote to restore net neutrality rules before consumers start paying the price.”