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Poll: Net Neutrality
Washington, December 1, 2017
As you may know, on November 21, 2017 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman, Ajit Pai, circulated a draft of his Restoring Internet Freedom Order to his fellow Commissioners. This order would repeal recent internet regulations set during the end of the Obama Administration and would go back to a “light-touch” regulatory style that the U.S. has used for decades.
In the 1990s, President Clinton and a Republican Congress made it our national policy to preserve a free market for the Internet “unfettered by Federal or State regulation.” This was our national policy through the remainder of the Clinton Administration, Bush Administration, and a majority of the Obama Administration. However, two years ago, the FCC changed its course through a party line vote. They agreed upon implementing what we call Title II regulations on the internet. However, in the two years since that FCC decision, broadband network investment dropped more than 5.6%—the first time a decline has happened outside of a recession. I believe if we were to continue with Title II regulations, Virginians who live in rural areas with limited internet may have to wait years to get more broadband.
I believe Chairman Pai’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order would return us to the successful, market-based framework under which the Internet developed and flourished and would preserve Internet freedom for all Americans. The decision would relinquish much of the FCC’s regulatory power back to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) who have historically been responsible for monitoring anti-competitive business practices.
Additionally, the FCC should move to require increased transparency from internet service providers; this would allow for start-ups and small businesses to have the appropriate information they need to innovate and blossom while simultaneously allowing consumers to purchase the best plans offered. I believe that the world-wide-web is inherently not a place to be dictated and policed by lawyers and bureaucrats, rather it should be open and easy for anyone who wants access.
As always, I appreciate your insight into these complex issues—that is why I want your opinion. Moving forward, should the FCC vote in favor of Chairman Pai’s Restoring Internet
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I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Your opinion helps shape my thinking as I represent you in Washington.