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Senators Urge FCC to Delay Vote Rolling Back Net Neutrality

December 8, 2017, 12:01 PM HST
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Sens. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and 26 other Senators urged Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to delay the vote to roll back the nation’s net neutrality rules.

Net neutrality means Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

In yesterday’s letter, the Senators expressed concerns over reports that bots filed hundreds of thousands of comments to the FCC during the net neutrality policymaking process, and called for an investigation into the state of the record.

“A free and open Internet is vital to ensuring a level playing field online, and we believe that your proposed action may be based on an incomplete understanding of the public record in this proceeding,” the Senators wrote. “In fact, there is good reason to believe that the record may be replete with fake or fraudulent comments, suggesting that your proposal is fundamentally flawed.”

“Without additional information about the alleged anomalies surrounding the public record, the FCC cannot conduct a thorough and fair evaluation of the public’s views on this topic, and should not move forward with a vote on Dec. 14, 2017,” the Senators continued.

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“The FCC must invest its time and resources into obtaining a more accurate picture of the record as understanding that record is essential to reaching a defensible resolution to this proceeding,” the Senators concluded.

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The letter was also signed by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Angus King (I-Maine), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Download the full text of the letter here.

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