Historic FCC Vote will Protect the Future of America's Economy and Democracy

Today, the FCC voted to adopt strong network neutrality rules based on Title II of the Communications Act. Here is my statement:

"Today's vote is among the greatest public interest victories in U.S. history. The FCC's strong rules banning blocking, throttling and paid prioritization will help protect innovation, economic growth, and democratic discourse in America. These bright-line rules will provide certainty to the market, keep the costs of regulation low, and limit regulatory overreach. Most importantly, they ensure that every American -- no matter the size of their wallets or the color of their skin -- has an equal chance to innovate and reach people online. By keeping the costs of innovation low, the FCC protects the Internet version of the American dream. For the first time, network neutrality rules apply equally to fixed and mobile networks, ensuring that Internet users are protected no matter how they access the Internet.

Today's vote shows that our voices matter. One year ago, today's decision seemed impossible. Large and powerful companies fought hard to end net neutrality. But millions of Americans – Internet users, start-ups, small businesses, artists, scholars, civil rights organizations, public interest groups and many others – organized to protect the future of the Internet. They took to the streets, used every tool the Internet has to offer, and submitted a record breaking four million comments to the FCC -- and the agency listened.

The good news is that the FCC's rules will likely be upheld in court. The agency's decision to reclassify Internet service as a common carrier under Title II of the Communications Act puts the rules on a solid legal foundation. By coupling reclassification with forbearance, the FCC has adopted a light regulatory touch that preserves Internet service providers' incentives to invest.

Thanks to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's vision, the FCC now has the tools to protect a free and open Internet. Chairman Wheeler was willing to listen to the public and had the courage to adjust his approach to pursue the right legal path. Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel's consistent and passionate support for a free and open Internet paved the way to today's victory. The vote would not have been possible without those members of Congress who called upon the FCC to pursue reclassification when it was politically risky to do so and who worked tirelessly for strong net neutrality rules, including Senators Ed Markey, Al Franken, Ron Wyden, Charles Schumer, Corey Booker, Richard Blumenthal, Elizabeth Warren, Angus King, Kristen Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders,  and Representatives Keith Ellison, Anna Eshoo, Nancy Pelosi, and many others."

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