After congressional Republicans made good on their promise to try to overturn the FCC's net neutrality rules, advocacy groups weighed in Wednesday, urging Congress to improve the regulations, not revoke them.
"We are disappointed that many leaders in the House and Senate have chosen to introduce job-killing legislation that would throttle the greatest job-creating mechanism we have ever seen," Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn said in a news release. "Congress would be ill-advised to proceed with resolutions to reverse the FCC rules. The result would be to turn the Internet over to AT&T, Comcast/NBC, Verizon and the other big telecom companies to administer at their whim. That type of regime helps no one other than those companies."
Other groups echoed this concern. Free Press political adviser Joel Kelsey said reversing the FCC's Internet freedom rules would undermine the agency's ability to protect free speech and put corporations in charge of what users can do online. His group was critical of the FCC for not implementing stronger rules to protect the openness of the Internet.
"Undoing the FCC's rules is akin to putting BP in charge of protecting our Oceans or Goldman Sachs in charge of protecting the nation's economy," he said. "Congress should be working to improve Net Neutrality policies, not revoke them, so that Comcast, AT&T and Verizon don't get to run the Internet like it's their private ATM, and we're the ones handing over the cash."
Republicans and other net neutrality critics argue that the FCC's order, approved in December, will stifile innovation and investment in broadband.