Tuesday, April 5, 2011
WASHINGTON – As the House of Representatives prepares for a vote on Thursday to repeal the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Open Internet rules, Consumers Union strongly urged lawmakers to reject the proposal and keep the Internet open for consumers in a letter sent to all House members this morning.
“When consumers spend money on Internet service, they expect to be able to surf the web openly. Internet providers should not limit your choices to their preferred sites. That’s why we need rules, like the FCC’s framework, to maintain an open Internet,” said Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union. “Key stakeholders – from consumers, to small business, to civil rights groups and religious organizations – have overwhelmingly voiced support for Open Internet rules as well as the FCC’s authority to implement and enforce them. We urge House members to stand with consumers and vote no on HJ Res 37.”
The Congressional Review Act (H.J. Res. 37) would repeal the FCC’s Open Internet rules. Repeal of the rules would eliminate the current FCC rules and eliminate the FCC’s ability to protect consumers of broadband Internet access service.
Desai said, “We hope that Congress will work to preserve openness and consumer choice online and to move forward on other initiatives that would improve broadband deployment and adoption opportunities for all Americans.”
A full copy of Consumers Union’s letter to the House members follows:
April 5, 2011
Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports® magazine, strongly urges you to oppose the use of the Congressional Review Act – H.J. Res. 37 – to repeal the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Open Internet rules. Repeal of the rules would eliminate the current FCC rules and eliminate the FCC’s ability to protect consumers of broadband Internet access service.
The Internet has been governed by principles of openness and consumer choice since its inception. These principles of an Open Internet have allowed the Internet to flourish as a marketplace, public forum, and unprecedented information resource. The FCC has adopted a framework that will allow it to adopt and implement rules that will ensure that all consumers will have access to an Open Internet. The rules provide certainty that consumers continue to be able to access available content on the Internet.
The overwhelming majority of stakeholders agree that Open Internet rules are needed and that the FCC has the authority to implement and enforce Open Internet rules. We urge Congress not to utilize the Congressional Review Act to repeal the FCC’s rules. Instead, we hope that Congress will work to preserve openness and consumer choice online and to move forward on other initiatives that would improve broadband deployment and adoption opportunities for all Americans.
For these reasons, we ask that you vote no on H.J. Res. 37 so that all consumers can continue to benefit from an Open Internet.
Parul P. Desai
Consumers Union, Washington Office
Contact: David Butler, Kara Kelber: 202-462-6262