Democrats Push FCC To Preserve Open Internet Rules

Net neutrality rules have helped to "keep the Internet free from discrimination against users, regardless of their race or economic status," a group of House Democrats said today in a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.

"We call upon you and your fellow commissioners to uphold these vital protections, as well as our constituents’ congressionally mandated communications rights," states the letter, which was signed by more than 30 lawmakers. "You must maintain rules that truly prevent discrimination, preserve choice, and promote opportunity for people across this nation and around the world."

The Democrats specifically praise the FCC's 2015 decision to reclassify broadband access as a telecommunications service, which is regulated under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. That move enabled the FCC to impose common carrier rules that prohibit carriers from degrading or throttling traffic, and from charging companies higher fees for prioritized delivery of their material.



"Under Title II, the Internet has remained open for competition, innovation and creativity," the letter says. "Broadband investment has continued apace and Internet service provider revenues have continued to grow."

Pai, who has long criticized the net neutrality rules, has repeatedly said he aims to repeal them.

Last year, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the rules by a 2-1 vote. The panel rejected arguments by carriers that the FCC exceeded its authority by reclassifying broadband service. Carriers have asked the appeals court to reconsider that ruling; that motion is still pending.

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