Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, joined other Democratic leaders from the Senate and House to unveil the Save the Internet Act to restore net neutrality protections and keep the internet open and free. The legislation would reverse the Trump Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) disastrous 2017 repeal of critical net neutrality protections.
“We stand today for the innovation economy that represents more than a trillion dollars already, and how important it is for them not to be throttled back by somebody who gets to make arbitrary decisions about access to broadband,” Senator Cantwell said.
The Save the Internet Act enacts the three legacy net neutrality principles – no blocking, no throttling, and no paid prioritization – and empowers the FCC to prohibit unjust, unreasonable, and discriminatory practices. The legislation also ensures consumers can make informed decisions when shopping for internet plans and restores the FCC’s authority to fund broadband access and deployment, particularly for rural communities and struggling Americans. The Save the Internet Act codifies the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order in a similar manner to last year’s Congressional Review Act that passed the Senate and had bipartisan support in the House.
Cantwell reiterated that access to information in the digital age is fundamental to our everyday lives.
“Getting access to information is critical, whether it’s online medicine, or God forbid an emergency room just can’t get an x-ray in time because they can’t pay for a “fast lane,” or whether that’s a college student studying in their dorm room who also gets throttled back at a key time that they need to study for the final exam,” Cantwell said.
Cantwell joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA), Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), House Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Yvette Clarke (D-NY), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in unveiling the legislation at a press conference today.
Senator Cantwell has been a leading advocate for strong net neutrality protections and has called for protecting a free and open internet at events throughout Washington state, including at a 2017 town hall in Seattle, a 2018 rally with tech startup companies at Fellow Coworking in Spokane, and a 2018 rally with small businesses at the headquarters of Seattle-based Redfin.