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Lawmakers Call for Delay on FCC Net Neutrality Vote

14 Dec, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Congressional leaders Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) Dec. 14 sent a letter to Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission delay a scheduled vote Thursday morning that would rescind net neutrality provisions.

Established by the FCC in 2015 under the Obama Administration, provisions of Title II of the Telecommunications Act of 1934, treat the Internet as a utility, with regulations mandating equal access, among other guidelines. Pai, who was named FCC chairman by President Trump, contends net neutrality represents government overreach.

“We are writing to urge you to cancel the upcoming December 14th vote on the Restoring Internet Freedom Order (Docket 17-108),” Collins and King wrote. “This is a matter of enormous importance with significant implications for our entire economy, and therefore merits the most thorough, deliberate, and thoughtful process that can be provided. The process thus far in this important matter has not met that standard.”

Specifically, the lawmakers contend repealing net neutrality rules will undermine longstanding protections they say have ensured the open Internet as a “powerful and transformative platform” of innovation and economic opportunity.

“We are concerned about the proposed order’s impact on the free market that has driven growth in our economy for years, and the potential adverse effect on rural America’s ability to realize the internet’s full potential,” they wrote.

Collins and King said they are concerned about the speed of the process, the lack of public hearings, and the underlying rationale for repealing net neutrality without an adequate replacement.

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