Background: Senate Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), and senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Tom Udall (D-NM) asked Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and ranking member Thad Cochran (R-MS) not to allow the appropriations process to be used to short-circuit the FCC’s Open Internet proceeding.
The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:
“We want to congratulate Senate Communications Subcommittee Chairman Kerry, along with senators Maria Cantwell, Ron Wyden and Tom Udall for their forthright defense of rural consumers, consumer protection, public safety and the disabled community. These are the communities and sectors put at risk if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is not allowed to conduct its open proceeding.
“It is unfortunate that some senators and members of Congress are willing to sacrifice the economic well-being of rural areas, consumer privacy, the requirements of public safety and needs of the disabled community in order to satisfy the political demands of large telecommunications companies. The FCC needs grounded legal authority over high-speed Internet access in order to make certain that rural consumers have the support they need to participate in the 21st century economy through universal service support.
“It is disheartening to see legislators from states and districts with large rural populations opposing the reasonable efforts of the FCC in proposing a limited program that would make certain every sector of our economy to grow and to create new jobs through access to advanced telecommunications services. Without the FCC plan, many of their constituents will be left behind.
“Chairman Kerry and his colleagues correctly recognize the gravity of the situation. We commend them for their courage in the face of overwhelming lobbying power and for their dedication to the welfare of millions of people in their states and across the country.”
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