You would think that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ action upholding FCC’s elimination of open internet rules would be seen as a bad thing by supporters of net neutrality. FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, who believes in supporting an open internet, saw a silver lining in the decision, which allows States to enact rules governing internet content.
“Above all else, today’s decision breathes new life into the fight for an open internet. It confirms that states can continue to step into the void left by this FCC,” Starks said. “To that end, it is a validation of those states that have already sought to protect consumers, and a challenge to those that haven’t yet acted to think hard about how to protect their citizens.”
The net neutrality order was remanded to the FCC for further clarification. Starks called on people from across the country to their opinions know to their state and federal legislators, as well as at the FCC.
Congress Looks at a Federal Net Neutrality Bill
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and Sen. Krysten Sinema, D-Ariz., said that with the use of Title II regulations eliminated, legislation is needed to protect access to the internet.
“It is incumbent on Congress to pass federal net neutrality standards that will protect consumers, promote broader access to the internet, and ensure internet providers treat content from all sources fairly,” said Wicker. “We need straightforward guidelines that will not change based on who occupies the White House. I look forward to continuing to work toward these goals with Senator Sinema as we seek to find common ground on this important issue.”
In March, Chairman Wicker and Sen. Sinema, announced a bipartisan working group focused on crafting a net neutrality proposal to encourage innovation, boost investment, and close the digital divide.
“Net neutrality is critical to maintaining a vibrant internet. We need a modern, internet-specific framework that encourages the freedom and innovation that make the internet the vital tool it is today,” said Sinema. “Today’s court decision makes clear Congress must pass a bipartisan, comprehensive net neutrality solution that offers certainty to consumers and providers.”
The Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over the FCC.