July 18, 2017

Wyden Refutes Pai’s Mischaracterization on Net Neutrality in Comment to FCC

Washington, D.C. –Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., refuted the intentional mischaracterization of his net neutrality position by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, in a comment filed today.

Pai has repeatedly cited a letter Wyden signed nearly 20 years ago as justification for rolling back strong net neutrality protections that ensure an open internet. Today Wyden reiterated his strong support for the 2015 Open Internet Order, and called on Pai to abandon both his mischaracterization of Wyden’s position, and his misguided effort to turn the internet over to Big Cable.

“The purpose of this comment is to specifically refute the Chairman’s willfully ignorant mischaracterization of a letter I signed in 1998, which this NPRM improperly claims as justification for classifying broadband service providers as an information service in 2017,”
Wyden wrote.

Changes in the online landscape over the past 20 years require different approaches to regulation, Wyden wrote. Today, just a handful of telecommunication companies control both internet access, and the cables themselves. Guarding against abuse by these near-monopolies requires a different approach to protect free speech, commerce and other online activity, than in 1998.

“I hope you closely consider this comment and refrain from continuing disingenuous rhetoric intended to deceive Americans about the net neutrality debate. As previous Commissions have demonstrated, the only way to achieve strong net neutrality protections is under Title II. I urge you to reject the proposed rule changes contemplated by the NPRM, and to fully enforce the current law of the 2015 Title II-based Order,” Wyden wrote.

Read Sen. Wyden’s full comment to the FCC here.