Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement regarding the Federal Communications Commission's 3-2 vote to advance net neutrality rules and begin a period of public comment.
"Two-tiered Internet is unacceptable," Cantwell said. "Americans don't pay different rates for slow or fast telephone service and shouldn't for the Internet either."
As a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Cantwell has been a leader in the fight for strong net neutrality rules. On January 25, 2011, Cantwell and Senator Al Franken (D-MN) introduced the Internet Freedom, Broadband Promotion, and Consumer Protection Act of 2011 to ensure the broadband Internet continues to serve as a source of innovation, free speech, and job growth.
Cantwell and Franken's Internet Freedom, Broadband Promotion, and Consumer Protection Act would have created a new section in Title II of the Communications Act by codifying the six net neutrality principles in the FCC's November 2009 Notice of Proposed Rule Making for preserving the open Internet. Additionally, the legislation would have prohibited broadband operators from requiring content, service, or application providers to pay for prioritized delivery of their Internet Protocol (IP) packets, also known as pay-for priority.
In November 2011, Cantwell took to the Senate floor to defend net neutrality protections and argue against a proposed resolution that would have weakened the FCC's rules. The FCC rules on preserving the open Internet were finalized and released in December 2010.