Statements of Former FCC Chair Michael Copps & Ishan Mehta Common Cause Media and Democracy Program Director
Today, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Jessica Rosenworcel announced that the agency will begin proceedings to restore Net Neutrality. In a speech at the National Press Club, Chair Rosenworcel said she will formally introduce a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” at the agency’s Open Meeting on October 19, 2023. The rulemaking will restore the FCC’s authority under Title II of the Communications Act to oversee broadband providers and enforce the open-internet protections. The Open Internet Order was repealed during the Trump Administration in the face of widespread public opposition – including comments filed during the proceedings opposing the controversial reversal by the agency.
Statement of Michael Copps, Former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Adviser
“To allow a handful of monopoly-aspiring gate-keepers to control access to the internet is a direct threat to our democracy. Anyone hoping to be a full participant in our society must have access to an open internet that serves the people’s needs. So much of our lives now takes place online that without an internet serving the public interest, we are short-changing ourselves and our country. Congratulations to FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel for her courageous leadership to bring net neutrality back.”
Statement of Ishan Mehta, Common Cause Media and Democracy Program Director
“The Internet has fundamentally changed how people are civically engaged and is critical to participating in society today. It is the primary communications platform, a virtual public square and has been a powerful organizing tool, allowing social justice movements to gain momentum and widespread support. We look forward to the reinstatement net neutrality protections, and the control of the Internet returning to the American people instead of Internet providers.
The repeal of Net Neutrality during the Trump Administration left access to broadband unregulated and consumers unprotected. As a result we saw broadband providers throttle popular video streaming services, degrade video quality forcing customers to pay higher prices for improved quality, offer service plans that favor their own services over competitors, and make hollow, voluntary, and unenforceable promises not to disconnect their customers during the pandemic.
Today’s announcement is victory for every American household after a difficult period under the yoke of unchecked broadband providers.