Sending Office: Honorable Michael F. Doyle
Sent By:
Philip.Murphy@mail.house.gov

Oppose the FCC’s Repeal of Net Neutrality

Cosponsor Rep. Doyle’s Congressional Review Act Resolution

Update: The Senate resolution is now above the 30 cosponsor requirement to force a Senate floor vote.  

Senate Cosponsors: Ed Markey (D-M.A.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii.), Richard Blumenthal (D–Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley
(D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sherrod Brown (D-O.H.),
Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.),
Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Angus King (I-Maine), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.).

Dear Colleague,

On December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal the Open Internet Order and end Net Neutrality.

Congressman Mike Doyle and Senator Ed Markey plan to introduce Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions in the House and Senate to stop the FCC’s rollback of these protections.  This legislation, if passed, would restore the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order
and maintain common sense protections that promoted a free and open internet.

Under the FCC’s current plan, no federal or state agency would have the legal authority to stop ISPs from blocking or throttling online content, nor would there be any restrictions on paid prioritization (so called internet fast or slow lanes).

Eliminating the FCC’s 2015 rules in this way turn decades of bipartisan policy on its head.  In the past, both Democratic and Republican FCC Chairs have acted to prevent harmful and anti-competitive behavior by ISPs. The repeal of the FCC’s rules abdicates
that  responsibility and ignores over a decade of bipartisan work on this subject.

In order to introduce the CRA, the FCC’s new order needs to be published in the Federal Register and delivered to Congress.  It is unclear at this moment how long this process will take, it may be as early as January or it may take several months.

At this time Congressman Doyle is currently accepting original cosponsors for his bill to restore net neutrality.  If your boss is interested in signing on as an original cosponsor or if you have any questions please email Philip Murphy (philip.murphy@mail.house.gov
x52135) in Rep. Doyle’s office.

Background on 2015 Net Neutrality Rules

The FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order put in place three bright line rules that restricted Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from engaging in a range of anti-consumer and anti-competitive practices.

Those rules were:

  • Banning Paid Prioritization: ISPs could not accept payment to give websites or online services more favorable access to users. This practice would create internet “fast lanes” and “slow lanes.”
  • Banning Blocking: ISPs could not block legal content, applications, or services.
  • Banning Throttling: ISPs could not slow down or degrade internet service based on the content, application, or service accessed by users.

The FCC also required ISPs to be transparent with consumers and established a forward looking rule to enable them to protect consumers and online services from unforeseen anti-consumer or anti-competitive practices.

These commonsense consumer protections where upheld in full by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2016.  In numerous statements to Wall Street and to Investors, senior executives for leading ISPs repeatedly stated that the FCC’s protections
would have no impact on their companys’ investment decisions or their plans to deploy broadband infrastructure.

Restoring these commonsense pro-consumer pro-competition safeguards is the way to protect and preserve a free and open Internet.

Related Legislative Issues
Selected legislative information: Consumer Affairs, Judiciary, Science, Small Business, Technology
icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0