Internet Freedom For Corporations, Not People
Breaking News, Featured Story, Science, The Latest News

Internet Freedom For Corporations, Not People

Telecoms Get Their Money’s Worth From Senators Who Want to Roll Back the ‘Net Neutrality’ Rule

Anyone who uses the Internet to watch movies or do research could see their service slow down or be blocked if a bill sponsored by nine Republican senators becomes law.

S.993, the so-called “Restoring Internet Freedom Act”, would undo landmark 2015 rules from the Federal Communications Commission, the body that sets rules for the Internet. Under former President Barack Obama, the FCC approved “net neutrality rules” that prevent providers such as Comcast and Verizon from blocking or slowing traffic.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who received about $70,000 in campaign contributions from the telecommunications industry from 2011-2016, and eight other senators want to undo this.

ACTION BOX / What you can do about it

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)

Write: Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission at 445 12th St SW, Washington, DC 20554. The toll-free phone number for the commission is 1-888-CALL FCC or call  202-418-1000. Write or call. Don’t email. They ignore emails.

Call your Representative and two Senators. Find their numbers here.  Tell them what you think of Sen. Mike Lee’s plans for net neutrality.

Lee said the FCC order “put federal bureaucrats in charge of engineering the Internet’s infrastructure.”

Lee and the other senators would roll back the Obama administration’s decision to regulate broadband service as a utility. The Obama administration saw access to the Internet as service like electricity or the telephone that all Americans should have, not a luxury for the well-heeled.

People who watch movies on Netflix or Hulu could see their service blocked or slowed by Internet providers if Lee’s bill becomes law. Netflix and Hulu might be able to pay higher fees to Internet providers to keep better service. Smaller, start-up companies could be shut out of business.

Many households have little choice in buying high-speed Internet access. Trump’s new FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, also wants to torpedo net neutrality.

A federal appeals court recently upheld the net neutrality rules. AT&T has said it plans to appeal.

VOTES FOR SALE

Here’s a list of the nine Republican senators sponsoring S.993 and how much money each has received from telecom companies over the last few years:

John Cornyn, Texas: $126,550
Ron Johnson, Wisconsin: $90,200
Mike Lee, Utah: $70,000
Ted Cruz, Texas: $61,399
Tom Cotton, Arkansas: $56,550
Thom Tillis, North Carolina: $56,500
James Inhofe, Oklahoma: $40,500
Ben Sasse, Nebraska: $29,600
Rand Paul, Kentucky: $23,300

May 4, 2017