Today, the Federal Communications Commission’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order officially goes into effect and sets the stage for establishing rules that apply equally to all participants in the broadband space. Strong and fair rules that protect all consumers equally no matter what Internet site they happen to be surfing are essential for all consumers. In response, LGBT Executive Director and Co-Founder Chris Wood issued the following statement:
“What’s important to remember in the net neutrality debate is that a broad range of Federal antitrust and consumer protection laws already guarantee our access to an open and neutral Internet. These laws regulate all participants in the broadband space that have access to consumers’ data. This will not change, nor should it.
“But what must change is the FCC’s treatment of the Internet as a political football, including 8 changes in Internet regulation since 2003. This is incredibly harmful to new investment and slows the roll-out of broadband access, including 5G wireless which offers so much economic promise. These constantly changing rules hit especially hard on rural areas and underserved communities lacking modern broadband options that other areas of the country have had for years.
“Today more than ever, it’s crucial that the government enacts policies that strike the proper balance between encouraging the investment and competition that leads to expanded access to next-generation services and technologies and the privacy and access policies that ensure that communities like ours continue to enjoy the fruits of the broadband revolution. A comprehensive broadband bipartisan Congressional solution is essential to codifying and providing a stable environment where investment and innovation can thrive while safeguarding the open Internet policies needed to protect consumers. The fact remains that Congressional legislation has always been the best solution to provide the FCC with a roadmap to ensure an open and free Internet.”