Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Maintaining Net Neutrality is Cornerstone of Our Democracy
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement today after the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in favor of upholding Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules on net neutrality:
"Maintaining free, open, and equal access to the Internet is a cornerstone of our democracy in today’s digital age. The Internet is constantly defining and redefining what is possible—from breaking down barriers in education, to expanding access to jobs and employment, to driving innovation in healthcare, and so much more. Today's ruling will help ensure that access to the Internet continues to be a place of equal opportunity for all Americans, not reserved for those with the money to purchase special access rights.”
Today's ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reclassifies broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, which allows the FCC to regulate internet service as a public utility. By regulating high-speed internet as a public utility, the FCC is able to prevent Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) from charging consumers to speed up certain online content over others, and require all online content be treated equally. The court upheld the FCC’s rules in a 2-1 vote.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has strongly supported net neutrality, and has cosponsored legislation like H.R. 196, the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act of 2015, which would prohibit multi-tiered pricing agreements between ISPs and content providers.