Thank you for contacting me about net neutrality and an open Internet. It was good to hear from you.
As you know, the Internet has become the world's greatest platform for innovation, job-creation and economic growth because of its nondiscriminatory and open nature. Massachusetts is home to many innovative companies and we must ensure that as the Internet continues to evolve, it remains a level playing field guided by the principles of openness and competition.
As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, I served as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee's Telecommunications Subcommittee, where I introduced the first net neutrality bill in the House. Now in the Senate I serve on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee which also has jurisdiction over telecommunications and issues that impact the Internet. I have consistently fought to preserve and promote an open Internet.
Earlier this year, the District of Columbia Circuit Court struck down critical segments of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Open Internet rules. As the primary author of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, I understand that the FCC has clear authority to oversee the operation of broadband networks and has the power to intervene in its effort to preserve competition and safeguard consumers.
I believe that openness is the Internet's heart and nondiscrimination is its soul, and infringements on either of these features undermine the spirit and intent of net neutrality. We need to retain the ability of all Internet users to communicate and compete. The Internet's rules of the road must not open up fast lanes to those who can pay, leaving others stuck in traffic.
I share your concern over the FCC's recent vote. The FCC'S action could begin the dismantling of the open Internet as we know it unless the Commission reclassifies broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II. Internet access today is like traditional phone service decades ago - we can't live or work without it. That is why in July, I led a group of my Senate colleagues in calling on the FCC to reclassify broadband as a utility. In order to preserve a truly open and free Internet, and must stop broadband behemoths from setting up fast and slow lanes and picking Internet winners and losers.
Earlier this year, I also spoke in support of net neutrality on the Senate floor. On February 3, 2014, I introduced The Open Internet Preservation Act, (S. 1981) with many of my colleagues in the Senate to temporarily restore the Open Internet rules. As this process moves forward, I plan to work to ensure that the FCC properly safeguards the vitality of the Internet for all users, entrepreneurs, and small businesses for generations to come. I will continue to fight to ensure that the world's greatest platform for innovation, job-creation and economic growth remains a level playing field for all.
Thank you again for contacting me about this issue. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. To sign up for my newsletter, visit http://www.markey.senate.gov/newsletter. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.