05.16.18

Rounds Statement on Net Neutrality CRA

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement on his vote against the Congressional Review Act (CRA) on net neutrality:

 

“Sound, reliable internet service is a vital component of nearly everything we do today, and there is widespread support on both sides of the aisle to protect consumers from blocking, throttling and paid prioritization of internet traffic. However, net neutrality should be regulated through a light-handed approach that protects consumers while still encouraging innovation in the market. The CRA voted on today was a political vote that would resuscitate an Obama regulation to give the FCC total control of net neutrality. It is based on an outdated, 1930s-era approach that, in the two years it has been enacted, led to a fall in broadband internet investment for the first time outside of a recession.

 

“Providing all South Dakota families with access to reliable, adequate internet service is vital as we continue to grow our economy and create jobs in the 21st century. We believe this is best achieved through a bipartisan approach in Congress, which has the tooth of law and can provide long-term certainty for both consumers and broadband innovators.”

 

Background:

  • Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.
  • When the Obama administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reclassified ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, ISPs became subject to a more burdensome regulatory framework.
    • In the two years since the Obama administration's "Open Internet Order" was enacted, broadband investment has fallen for the first time in the internet era, outside of a recession.
  • Last year, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai submitted the Restoring Internet Freedom order, which would nullify the Open Internet Order and restore the FCC’s light-touch approach.
    • The “Restoring Internet Order” is scheduled to take effect on June 11.
    • The FCC believes that by lifting these heavy-handed regulations, investment in rural infrastructure will begin to take off once again.
  • The CRA voted on today would nullify the “Restoring Internet Order.”
  • However, for the CRA to take effect, it will have to pass the House of Representatives and be signed into law by President Trump.

 

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