Today, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) along with 28 co-sponsors in the Senate and 26 co-sponsors in the House, introduced the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act. This bill would codify the classification of broadband as a telecommunications service. The bill would also return authority to the Federal Communications Commission to oversee broadband providers and allow the agency to promulgate strong net neutrality rules. Common Cause has long believed that a free and open Internet is essential to our democracy, and is proud to endorse the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act.
Statement of Yosef Getachew, Common Cause Media and Democracy Program Director
“The Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act is a major opportunity to enshrine into law what has become abundantly clear today: broadband is an essential service. Broadband is critical for work, education, health care, news and information, and access to government services. Broadband has also fundamentally changed what participation in our democracy looks like as it allows anyone, regardless of where they live or what their income level is, to access the tools needed to engage in the civic process. This bill would put an end to any uncertainty on the proper definition of broadband and give the FCC the tools it needs to adopt strong net neutrality rules, oversee our communications networks, and help protect the digital rights everyone expects to have when going online.”
“We have seen the consequences of the prior FCC’s decision to not only repeal net neutrality but to also completely abdicate its authority over broadband providers. This approach left broadband access unregulated and consumers unprotected. In the years since, broadband providers have throttled popular video streaming services, degraded video quality forcing customers to pay higher prices for improved quality, and created services plans that favor their own services over competitors. This approach also weakened the FCC’s ability to ensure households remained connected during the height of the pandemic, where the agency was forced only to rely on voluntary and unenforceable promises made by broadband providers not to disconnect their customers.
“Poll after poll has shown that Americans of all political affiliation want to see strong net neutrality rules, and don’t want to see large ISPs given free reign. Members of Congress must listen to their constituents rather than ISPs who spend millions of dollars each year lobbying them, and support the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act.”