Cantwell Statement on Appeals Court Decision to Revoke Net Neutrality Rules

Cantwell: ‘Ruling puts the reins of power in the hands of telecom conglomerates’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules. The court revoked the FCC’s rules that blocked broadband providers from charging varying prices for network access.

“This decision is a blow to the principles of fairness and competition that our innovation economy is built on,” Cantwell said. “An open Internet is the building block of innovation and dynamic growth in the 21st century economy. But this ruling puts the reins of power in the hands of telecom conglomerates, allowing them to create fast and slow lanes on a tiered Internet. I will work with my colleagues on legislation to fix this ruling and restore the protections of an even playing field for American consumers and entrepreneurs.”

As a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Cantwell has been a leader in the fight for strong net neutrality rules. On January 25, 2011, Cantwell and Senator Al Franken (D-MN) introduced the Internet Freedom, Broadband Promotion, and Consumer Protection Act of 2011 to ensure the broadband Internet continues to serve as a source of innovation, free speech, and job growth.

Cantwell and Franken’s Internet Freedom, Broadband Promotion, and Consumer Protection Act would have created a new section in Title II of the Communications Act by codifying the six net neutrality principles in the FCC’s November 2009 Notice of Proposed Rule Making for preserving the open Internet. Additionally, the legislation would have prohibited broadband operators from requiring content, service, or application providers to pay for prioritized delivery of their Internet Protocol (IP) packets, also known as pay-for priority.

In November 2011, Cantwell took to the Senate floor to defend net neutrality protections and argue against a proposed resolution that would have weakened the FCC’s rules. The FCC rules on preserving the open Internet were finalized and released in December 2010.