CRAMER: Time for Congress to Enact Bipartisan Net Neutrality Legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today voted to restore internet freedom by reclassifying the internet under the same light touch regulatory framework developed during the Clinton Administration:
“This has gone on long enough, it’s time for Republicans and Democrats to enact permanent net neutrality legislation in Congress. Contrary to what the left is saying, the world is not going to end and your access to the internet was never in danger. From mass hysteria to bomb threats and even naming of FCC commissioners’ children online, the rhetoric over poorly named ‘net neutrality’ rules has turned into a dangerous political mudslinging match.
Ironically, Republicans and Democrats actually agree on most principles surrounding net neutrality. I support a free and open internet and want to ensure consumers and small businesses have the same opportunities that larger companies such as Google and Netflix have. Where we disagree is on the regulatory framework to enforce these rules.
As a former utility regulator, I know exactly how Title II utility regulation affects companies. It was established to give the government more control over monopoly-style companies like Ma Bell telephone. Putting these same regulations on our very competitive internet market stifles broadband investment and punishes small broadband providers who lack the resources and lawyers to deal with government red tape. That’s terrible for the consumer – especially considering we still lack adequate broadband coverage for 23 million Americans.
Moving forward, we have a tremendous opportunity to hit the reset button. In the previous Congress, Republicans made multiple attempts to work with Democrats on codifying principles that ensure net neutrality. We stand ready to get back to work on net neutrality legislation, but we’ll need Democrats to work with us to get things across the finish line.”