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One Year After Net Neutrality Repeal, America's Democrats Warn 'The Fight Continues'


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CNET just published a fierce pro-net neutrality editorial co-authored by Nancy Pelosi, the soon-to-be Majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, with Mike Doyle, the expected Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, and Frank Pallone, Jr. the expected Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The three representatives argue that "the Trump FCC ignored millions of comments from Americans pleading to keep strong net neutrality rules in place."
The FCC's net neutrality repeal left the market for broadband internet access virtually lawless, giving ISPs an opening to control peoples' online activities at their discretion. Gone are rules that required ISPs to treat all internet traffic equally. Gone are rules that prevented ISPs from speeding up traffic of some websites for a fee or punishing others by slowing their traffic down....

Without the FCC acting as sheriff, it is unfortunately not surprising that big corporations have started exploring ways to change how consumers access the Internet in order to benefit their bottom line.... Research from independent analysts shows that nearly every mobile ISP is throttling at least one streaming video service or using discriminatory boosting practices. Wireless providers are openly throttling video traffic and charging consumers extra for watching high-definition streams. ISPs have rolled out internet plans that favor companies they are affiliated with, despite full-page ads swearing they value net neutrality. And most concerning, an ISP was found throttling so-called "unlimited" plans for a fire department during wildfires in California. 

Make no mistake, these new practices are just ISPs sticking a toe in the water. Without an agency with the authority to investigate and punish unfair or discriminatory practices, ISPs will continue taking bolder and more blatantly anti-consumer steps. That is why we have fought over the past year to restore net neutrality rules and put a cop back on the ISP beat. In May, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan bill restoring net neutrality rules. Despite the support of a bipartisan majority of Americans, the Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives refused our efforts to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. 

Fortunately, the time is fast coming when the people's voices will be heard.

The editorial closes by arguing that "Large corporations will no longer be able to block progress on this important consumer protection issue."

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