U.S. Mayors Unite to Protest FCC Rollback of Net Neutrality Regulations

By Office of Innovation
In Uncategorized
Jul 12th, 2017
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Mayor Pauline Cutter, along with 49 additional Mayors across the country, were signatories to a letter sent this morning to Ajit Pai, the FCC Chairman recently appointed by the Trump administration.  Timed to coincide with Net Neutrality Day of Action today, July 12th, these Mayors are joining with the biggest U.S. internet companies to protest the FCC’s proposal to gut net neutrality rules adopted by the FCC under its previous chairman, Tom Wheeler.

To quote Chairman Wheeler regarding his 2014 proposed net neutrality proposal, then under consideration by the FCC:

“If a network operator slowed the speed of service below that which the consumer bought, it would be commercially unreasonable and therefore prohibited. If the network operator blocked access to lawful content, it would violate our no-blocking rule and therefore be doubly prohibited.”

These approved FCC regulations are among the most important provisions that Chairman Pai proposes to eliminate.  The City of San Leandro stands firmly with other U.S. cities to advise Chairman Pai that “The FCC must maintain and enforce the Open Internet Order, to ensure the principles of openness, freedom and innovation continue to drive the American economy into the twenty-first century.” 

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Following is text from the letter signed by 48 Mayors being sent to the Chairman this morning:

Ajit Pai

Chairman

Federal Communications Commission

445 12th St SW

Washington, DC 20554

July 12, 2017

Dear Chairman Pai:

Our nation’s residents benefit immensely from an open internet, which drives innovation and economic growth across every segment of American society.  “Net neutrality” rules recognize the importance of maintaining a level playing field for all internet content – regardless of the creator or owner – to be enjoyed by all users, regardless of their internet provider.  For this reason, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has consistently advocated for strong federal actions on this issue across two federal administrations.

This message has been consistent and simple.  Be it through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or through legislative action, the U.S. Conference of Mayors first called in 2014 for nationwide internet protections that enforce the following nondiscrimination principles:

  • Commitment to transparency;
  • The free flow of information over the internet;
  • No blocking of lawful websites;
  • No unreasonable discrimination of lawful network traffic; and
  • No paid prioritization.

In 2015, the FCC enshrined these same principles of free and open internet service into law, through the reclassification of internet service under Title II of the Communications Act.

On May 18th, the FCC voted to consider full repeal of Title II and net neutrality rules.  The FCC’s proposal poses a significant risk of stifling American innovation and harming local economies across the country.

Net neutrality is a pocket book issue for American households.  Full repeal would have a particularly negative impact on middle and working class families, while simultaneously restricting access to certain types of online content and services to those who cannot afford to pay more. When internet providers restrict access to certain types of content and services and charge residents for the luxury of accessing information and services online, we are all less free to participate in the modern economy.  For these and many other reasons, repealing these crucial protections will prove disruptive for our residents, our families, our small businesses, and countless others including nonprofits, schools, and libraries.

Additionally, technology startups depend on net neutrality to gain fair and competitive access to customers. A repeal of net neutrality rules could see innovative solutions from these startups relegated to the background as entrenched internet providers steer consumers to established solutions that can afford to pay for privileged status. Our cities depend on a thriving startup community to drive innovation and our continued economic growth.

The FCC must maintain and enforce the 2015 Open Internet Order, to ensure the principles of openness, freedom, and innovation continue to drive the American economy into the twenty-first century.

Sincerely,

Edwin M. Lee, Mayor, City and County of San Francisco
Bill de Blasio, Mayor, City of New York, New York
Martin J. Walsh, Mayor, City of Boston, Massachusetts
Muriel Bowser, Mayor, District of Columbia
Ed Murray, Mayor, City of Seattle, Washington
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor, City of Chicago, Illinois
Allison Silberberg, Mayor, City of Alexandria, Virginia
Dana Kirkham, Mayor, City of Ammon, Idaho
Ben Kessler, Mayor, City of Bexley, Ohio
Melvin Kleckner, Town Administrator, Town of Brookline, Massachusetts
Deborah Frank Feinen, Mayor, City of Champaign, Illinois
Andy Berke, Mayor, City of Chattanooga, Tennessee
Mary Casillas Salas, Mayor, City of Chula Vista, California
Kim McMillan, Mayor, City of Clarksville, Tennessee
John Woods, Mayor, Town of Davidson, North Carolina
Lucy Vinis, Mayor, City of Eugene, Oregon
Lioneld Jordan, Mayor, City of Fayetteville, Arkansas
William McLeod, Mayor, Village of Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Archibald L. Gillies, Chairman, Islesboro Board of Selectmen, Town of Islesboro, Maine
Peter D’Errico, Chair of Select Board, Town of Leverett, Massachusetts
Chris Beutler, Mayor, City of Lincoln, Nebraska
Edward J. Kennedy, City of Lowell, Massachusetts
Paul Soglin, Mayor, City of Madison, Wisconsin
Betsy Hodges, Mayor, City of Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hans Riemer, Council Vice President, Montgomery County, Maryland
Jennifer Gregerson, Mayor, City of Mukilteo, Washington
Megan Barry, Mayor, Metropolitan Nashville & Davidson County
Jon Mitchell, Mayor, City of New Bedford, Massachusetts
David J. Narkewicz, Mayor, City of Northampton, Massachusetts
Libby Schaaf, Mayor, City of Oakland, California
Greg Stanton, Mayor, City of Phoenix, Arizona
Ted Wheeler, Mayor, City of Portland, Oregon
Tom Butt, Mayor, City of Richmond, California
Ron Nirenberg, Mayor, City of San Antonio, Texas
Sam Liccardo, Mayor, City of San Jose, California and Member, Federal Communications Commission Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee
Pauline Russo Cutter, Mayor, City of San Leandro, California
Zach Friend, Vice Chair, Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, Santa Cruz County, California
Ted Winterer, Mayor, City of Santa Monica, California
Joanne Dittes Yepsen, Mayor, City of Saratoga Springs, New York
Gary R. McCarthy, Mayor, City of Schenectady, New York
Patricia Smith, Mayor, City of South Portland, Maine
Stephanie Miner, Mayor, City of Syracuse, New York
Marilyn Strickland, Mayor, City of Tacoma, Washington
Diane Wolfe Marlin, Mayor, City of Urbana, Illinois
William D. Sessoms, Mayor, City of Virginia Beach, Virginia
John Heilman, Mayor, City of West Hollywood, California
Joe Dominick, Mayor, City of Westminster, Maryland
Gary Resnick, Mayor, City of Wilton Manors, Florida

Alex Morcos, Mayor, City of Medina, Washington

Joanne Dittes Yepsen, Mayor; Michelle Madigan, Commissioner of Finance, and City of Saratoga Springs City Council, City of Saratoga Springs, New York

Christine Lundberg, Mayor of Springfield, Oregon

 

2 Responses to “U.S. Mayors Unite to Protest FCC Rollback of Net Neutrality Regulations”

  1. Thank for talking a stand on this issue. A free and open internet is the backbone of the modern economy.

  2. Taylor Lewis says:

    Thank you for you work on this important issue.

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