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Eshoo, Markey Lead Members of Congress in Amicus Brief to Overturn Net Neutrality Repeal

August 28th, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA.), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Senator Ed J. Markey (D-Mass.) and 103 members of Congress filed an amicus brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent repeal of net neutrality protections.

In 2015, the FCC established strong, legally sound protections to prevent the largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from throttling, assessing a toll or blocking content. In 2017, the FCC voted to eviscerate those protections. Since then, consumer advocates, tech companies, small businesses, and 22 state Attorneys General have mobilized to appeal this decision in the D.C. Circuit Court. Eshoo and Markey’s Amicus Brief supports them in the ongoing court fight.

“The Internet is one of the greatest inventions in human history and it’s an American invention. It’s our responsibility to protect it as a force to drive innovation, expand our economy, and promote free speech and our democracy,” Rep. Eshoo said.

“Over 20 years ago Senator Markey and I served as conferees in the lead up to the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act which was written to be technologically neutral and forward-looking” Eshoo continued. “As Members of Congress charged with overseeing the FCC, we are uniquely situated to spell out to the Court exactly what Congress intended by the Communications Act. It was established that there would always be a cop on the beat to protect the public in communications, regardless of advances in technology. That is what our brief sets out for the Court.”

“Both the plain language and Congressional intent behind the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that Congresswoman Eshoo and I helped author make clear that today, broadband access to the internet is a telecommunications service,” Sen. Markey said. “But Chairman Pai and his Republican FCC colleagues ignored the statute, our intent, and consumer perception when it reclassified broadband back to an information service and eviscerated the net neutrality rules. They are on the wrong side of history. Whether in the halls of Congress or the halls of the courts, the fight for net neutrality is the fight for our online future, and we will prevail.”

A copy of the amicus brief can be found here.

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