Thank you for contacting me to express your thoughts on net neutrality. It is good to hear from you.
Like you, I believe in protecting an open, free, and vibrant Internet. Consumers’ have the right to access the services of their choice in a competitive marketplace, and we all can agree no one wants broadband providers blocking or throttling internet traffic. The issue is not of the merits of an open internet but rather where the jurisdiction to protect consumers from harmful practices rests.
As you may know, in 2015, the FCC finalized rules regarding the reclassification of broadband that granted the FCC the statutory power to regulate the internet. This considerable regulatory overreach was a solution in search of a problem. In response, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released a draft order, “Restoring Internet Freedom,” to reverse these Obama-era rules on November 23, 2017. The draft order aims to promote transparency and will return jurisdiction over broadband regulation to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and will rightfully restore the FTCs ability to police internet service providers, protect consumers, and promote competition, just as it did before 2015. This order will receive a vote by the FCC Commissioners on December 14, 2017.
Government control is not the only way to assure a free and open internet. For nearly two decades a free and open internet has flourished without anti-market regulations. This was accomplished by the FTC and states attorneys’ broad powers to protect consumers from deceptive or harmful practices, and joined by the Department of Justice they can punish and deter anti-competitive conduct.
Congress has a duty to see that our laws are fair, not only to the companies involved, but also to citizens across the nation that use technology every day. The FCC should focus on removing barriers to competition and allowing the private sector to more effectively allocate our broadband resources. The removal of restrictive regulations will pave the way for broadband network investment, expansion and upgrades. Please know that I will keep your thoughts in mind as we continue to debate telecommunications issues in the 115th Congress.
Again, thank you for contacting me to share your views. Please visit www.boozman.senate.gov to sign up for my e-newsletter, request assistance with a federal agency, or learn more about my efforts on behalf of the people of Arkansas. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.