The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a bill today that would undermine the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) ability to protect consumers and the Open Internet. The bill, H.R. 2666, would prohibit the FCC from taking actions that impact the rates that broadband providers charge customers. The FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order already states that broadband providers are not subject to rate regulation.
The following statement can be attributed to Joshua Stager, policy counsel for New America’s Open Technology Institute:
We are disappointed that the committee approved this unnecessary legislation without correcting amendments. The bill is overbroad, deceptively simple, and undercuts the FCC’s ability to protect consumers and net neutrality. The FCC is clearly not interested in heavy-handed rate regulation; the agency already passed an appropriately narrow order that exempts broadband providers from rate-setting rules. Rather than manufacture a problem where none exists, we urge the committee to focus on the needs of consumers: making Internet service more affordable, addressing the lack of competition, and closing a digital divide that has left too many Americans behind.