FCC chair responds to Franken's net neutrality concerns

FCC chair responds to Franken's net neutrality concerns
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The head of the Federal Communications Commission is promising Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenTrump quietly putting his stamp on the courts Grassley shouldn't allow Senate Democrats to block judicial nominees Senate Dems push Trump admin to protect nursing home residents' right to sue MORE (D-Minn.) that he will work to preserve a “free and open” internet amid a possible reexamination of net neutrality rules.

Franken had sent a letter to Ajit Pai last month shortly after the FCC commissioner, who voted against the regulations, was tapped by President Trump to lead the agency.

“We share the same goals of promoting a free and open Internet and protecting fully Americans' rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” Pai wrote in response in a letter dated last week but released Friday. “I look forward to working with you to ensure that the FCC's regulatory framework preserves each of these values.”

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Net neutrality was enshrined in the 2015 Open Internet Order passed by a Democrat-led FCC. It required service providers to treat all internet traffic equally and not throttle or block certain sites.

What angered conservatives and the telecom industry was that the order reclassified service providers as common carriers, thereby opening them up to tougher regulation from the FCC.

While Pai committed to keeping the internet “free and open,” he did not address how he would handle the reclassification order.

“Allowing giant corporations to pick and choose the content available to everyday Americans would threaten the basic principles of our democracy,” Franken wrote in his initial letter in January. “I urge you to protect freedom of speech by maintaining and enforcing the Open Internet Order.”

“Two years ago, American consumers and businesses celebrated the FCC's landmark vote to preserve a free and open internet by reclassifying broadband providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act.”