Senate Dems demand net neutrality protections

Senate Democrats urged Republicans to “preserve net neutrality principles” in the 114th Congress.

“To the extent that any Communications Act reforms are considered in the next Congress, those reforms must be fully consistent with and protective of net neutrality principle,” 11 senators wrote to the incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

{mosads}Republicans take control of the upper chamber next year, and Senate Democrats say a top priority should be protecting a free and open Internet.

“A two-tiered Internet that allows Fortune 500 companies to pay for special Internet access imperils the innovation that drives the Internet economy, while leaving slow lanes for the rest of us,” the senators wrote. “We stand ready to work with you in ensuring that any reform of our communications laws is consistent with strong net neutrality protections.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering rule changes to net neutrality laws. The democratic senators said the Senate should prohibit establishing “fast lanes,” discrimination against content, and that there should be an increase in transparency.

“The FCC can and should take strong action to protect consumers as soon as possible,” the letter stated. “We would forcefully oppose any reforms that would undermine the FCC’s authority to act to adopt meaningful net neutrality rules to protect consumers.”

Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) signed the letter to McConnell and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who will serve as chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee next year. 

Tags Al Franken Bob Casey Debbie Stabenow Federal Communications Commission Harry Reid John Thune Maria Cantwell Martin Heinrich Michael Bennet Mitch McConnell Mitch McConnell Network neutrality in the United States Patrick Leahy Patty Murray Richard Blumenthal Tom Udall

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