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Cantwell, colleagues commend upcoming FCC Net Neutrality Rule

Rule would protect free and open Internet by saying to service providers “you can’t throttle, you can’t slow down, and you can’t charge exorbitant fees” so that some Internet content gets preferential treatment

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  On April 18, 2024 U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, joined a press conference with Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA-16), and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, in Washington, D.C., on the upcoming FCC rule reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act and reinstating net neutrality protections. The Commission will vote on the final rule at its open meeting on April 25.

"The State of Washington has the fifth-highest share of remote workers in the country and the highest concentration of tech workers, so they rely on safeguarding for small businesses the ability to compete online," Sen. Cantwell said. "We need to protect the growing innovation economy by making sure that we have rules that say you can’t throttle, you can’t slow down, and you can’t charge exorbitant fees just to have preferential treatment."

“Survey after survey show that 80% of the public support’s the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules and oppose their repeal. So bringing back the FCC’s authority over broadband, and putting back in place Net Neutrality rules is popular,” said FCC Chair Rosenworcel. “It’s also been court tested, and court approved. It’s good for consumers who count on broadband like never before. It’s important for public safety, it’s important for national security, and when the FCC votes next week, we have the opportunity to get this right.”

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Sen. Cantwell has consistently championed legislation to support a free and open internet. In June 2023, Sen. Cantwell chaired the nomination hearing of Anna Gomez for FCC Commissioner, and advanced her nomination a month later. Gomez was confirmed by a Senate vote of 55-43 in September 2023, restoring a Democratic majority on the FCC. 

In January 2017, Sen. Cantwell voted against Trump’s nominee for Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, due to his opposition to net neutrality rules. After Pai's confirmation, Sen. Cantwell sent several letters to the FCC opposing their vote to weaken net neutrality rules and introduced a bipartisan Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution to reverse the rollback of net neutrality.

Following the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules, Sen. Cantwell cosponsored the 2019 Save the Internet Act , and the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act in 2022. In 2006, Sen. Cantwell cosponsored a bipartisan amendment to the COPE Act to enshrine net neutrality into federal law.

Video of Sen. Cantwell’s remarks available HERE, video of FCC Chair Rosenworcel’s remarks available HERE.

A transcript of Sen. Cantwell and Chair Rosenworcel’s remarks is available HERE.

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