FCC Democrats Restore Net Neutrality Rules

April 25, 2024

On Thursday, Democratic members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to restore net neutrality rules. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, released a statement on the vote to restore regulations that protect consumers’ access to a free and open internet.

“The FCC vote to restore net neutrality rules is a victory for internet users everywhere,” said Sen. Cantwell. “These new rules will help ensure providers can’t throttle your service or charge exorbitant fees for preferential treatment.”

As Chair of the Committee, Sen. Cantwell has consistently championed legislation to support a free and open internet. Last week, Sen. Cantwell spoke about the importance to Washington state of the FCC rule reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act and reinstating net neutrality protections at a press conference with Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Representative Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.-16), and FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. Sen. Cantwell noted that Washington state has the fifth-highest share of remote workers in the country and the highest concentration of tech workers, so the rule’s safeguards are of particular important to the state’s workforce and economy.

In June 2023, Sen. Cantwell chaired the nomination hearing of Anna Gomez for FCC Commissioner, and advanced her nomination a month later. Gomez was confirmed by a Senate vote of 55-43 in September 2023, restoring a Democratic majority on the FCC. In January 2017, Sen. Cantwell voted against Trump’s nominee for Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, due to his opposition to net neutrality rules. After Pai's confirmation, Sen. Cantwell sent several letters to the FCC opposing their vote to weaken net neutrality rules and introduced a bipartisan Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution to reverse the rollback of net neutrality. Following the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules, Sen. Cantwell cosponsored the Save the Internet Act and the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act. In 2006, Sen. Cantwell cosponsored a bipartisan amendment to the COPE Act to enshrine net neutrality into federal law.