updated 05:35 pm EDT, Sun May 11, 2014
Wyden, Boxer, Franken among Senators concerned with net neutrality proposal
In a letter addressed to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on Friday, 11 United States Senators voiced their concerns over the newly-proposed net neutrality rules by the FCC that may be heading to vote this week. The letter specifically points to the problems and inequality the proposal may promote, including "paid prioritization arrangements."
In the letter, the Senators send a clear message that the proposed revisions to open Internet rules in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) puts the competitive and innovative nature of the Internet at risk. By segregating the Internet based on "paid prioritization arrangements" and introducing rules to allow for Internet service providers to demand payment, the change "would eradicate net neutrality." The letter adds that "sanctioning paid prioritization would allow for discrimination and irrevocable change the Internet as we know it."
Among the 11 Senators that signed off on the letter, eight different states are represented. All of the Senators from Massachusetts, New York and Oregon have signed the letter, along with others seated in California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey and Vermont. Of those included are politicians noted as standing against the removal of net neutrality including Senator Al Franken and Senator Ron Wyden. Ten of the signers were Democrats, joined by independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. No Republicans agreed to sign on.
Senator Wyden issued a call to action on YouTube for citizens to get involved and contact the FCC to help protect net neutrality the same day. "Everyone should be afforded the same freedom to compete online. Our country cannot afford to lose the open Internet," says Senator Wyden.