February 16, 2011 -- U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA14) released the following statement today for the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing on the Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet rules.
"Far from being new and onerous regulations, the FCC's open internet rules try preserve a status quo that existed when the Internet was founded and when many of American consumers' favorite services started. I look forward to working with the FCC and stakeholders to ensure that the regulations issued by the FCC will actually preserve an open internet.
"I want to note my disappointment that preserving an open internet has become a partisan issue. Some of my first votes on this Committee were votes for Republican amendments to promote competition and preserve consumer's access to choices in telecommunications services.
"Since then, I've worked with Republicans who supported innovation and competition. Many joined me in supporting requirements that companies open their telephone and other last-mile networks to innovators. But Republican support on these issues has dwindled to the point where even next-best solutions like rules to preserve an open internet are declared government takeovers -- and harbingers of the end of the world.
"So I appreciate Commissioner McDowell's reminder in his testimony that "more than 90 percent of our votes are not only bipartisan, but unanimous" at the FCC. Hopefully we can return to the old spirit as we tackle old but new issues like licensing new Low-Power FM radio stations under the Local Community Radio Act, reforming the Universal Service Fund, data roaming, special access, interconnection, spectrum, and more.
"But I have to admit that I'm worried that this issue and subsequent debate over appropriations riders and the Congressional Review Act will poison the well and hurt our ability to work together on these issues in the future. I'm hoping that won't be the case."