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Cybersecurity & Standards, Free Expression, Open Internet

CDT Joins 90 Others in Signing April 2019 Save the Internet Act Letter

April 2, 2019

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Members of the United States House of Representatives:

We the undersigned 90 organizations urge House members to pass the Save the Internet Act (H.R. 1644), restoring the strong protections for net neutrality and broadband access guaranteed by the 2015 Open Internet Order.

Since the repeal of the Open Internet Order by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in December 2017, millions of Americans have been fighting to protect an open and accessible internet and calling on Congress to restore vital protections for universal communications rights, small business innovation, and free speech online.

Additionally, net neutrality continues to receive overwhelming bipartisan support across the country, with the latest polling showing that 4 in 5 Americans support net neutrality, including 77% of Republicans.

In the year since the FCC took away the 2015 Open Internet Order, we have seen some very troubling and dangerous activities by big cable and telephone companies:

  • Verizon slowed down the Santa Clara fire department’s data in the midst of one the worst wildfires in California history;
  • The largest U.S. telecom companies were caught slowing streaming speeds to popular applications like YouTube and Netflix;
  • Centurylink blocked internet access to force customers to view specific ads;
  • AT&T gave preference to its own video services by not having its video data count against customers’ monthly data caps; and
  • Sprint has been accused of interfering with Skype, which provides an alternative to wireless carriers’ voice, video or messaging services.

Despite empty rhetoric by open internet opponents, the 2015 Open Internet Order did not harm broadband investment from 2015-2017, nor is broadband investment, deployment, or speed increasing since the FCC’s repeal.

While advocates seek redress in court to overturn the FCC’s disastrous Open Internet Order repeal, the Save the Internet Act will reaffirm Congress’s intent and support for broadband users’ rights. Passing this bill would help reestablish important net neutrality protections while the court case challenging the FCC’s net neutrality repeal proceeds through months, or even years, of additional appeals. The House should pass this bill without any harmful amendments, and without any consideration of a Motion to Recommit or other substitute designed to water down, weaken, or fatally wound it.