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Key Senators Urge Appropriations Committee to Support FCC
Kerry Letter Calls Inquiry on FCC Proposal “Reasonable and Responsible”
WASHINGTON - June 15 - Today, four key senators, including Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet; Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.); Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.); and Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) urged the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee to support the Federal Communications Commission's efforts to protect consumers and connect more Americans to broadband service.
In their letter to Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), the senators wrote, "it is the agency's responsibility to ensure it has the proper regulatory structure in place to execute its responsibilities under existing law. Preempting that process through an appropriations rider would be inappropriate."
The senators "oppose any effort to use the appropriations process to block the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from using its existing legal authority to preserve an open Internet, protect consumers, and provide rural residents and Americans with disabilities with access to today's broadband Internet services." The senators further express support for the FCC's "third way" proposal to modernize its broadband policy framework, and they recommend seeking public comment on the proposal as "a reasonable and responsible way to move forward."
Free Press Policy Counsel Aparna Sridhar said:
"We greatly appreciate Senators Kerry, Cantwell, Wyden and Udall's efforts to help all Americans get connected to broadband. Americans will not be able to realize the full potential of the Internet if our broadband policy stands on shaky legal footing, and this letter provides critical support for the FCC's efforts to re-establish its oversight over broadband networks. We couldn't agree more with the letter's message: Congress should not prevent the FCC from merely asking basic questions about how best to achieve America's broadband goals in a manner that is structurally sound and legally sustainable. We appreciate the senators' efforts on behalf of American consumers."