Senate Republicans continued to lash out at the Federal Communications Commission’s new net-neutrality regulations during an oversight hearing Wednesday.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune told the five FCC commissioners that their new rules “will only increase political, regulatory, and legal uncertainty, which will ultimately hurt average Internet users.”
“Simply put, your actions jeopardize the open Internet that we are all seeking to protect,” Thune said.
The rules bar Internet providers from blocking websites, slowing down traffic, or creating any special “fast lanes” for sites that pay more. Supporters argue the rules will prevent Internet providers from acting as “gatekeepers” and restricting access to online information.
The FCC’s two Republicans, Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly, joined the Republican senators in blasting the new rules. “In short, the Internet is not broken,” Pai said. “And it didn’t need the FCC to fix it.”
But FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was unapologetic. “There needs to be a set of standards and a referee on the field who can throw the flag if someone violates those standards,” Wheeler said.