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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2010
3:50 PM

CONTACT: Free Press

Liz Rose, Communications Director, 202-265-1490 x 32

Free Press Urges FCC to Move Ahead with Rules to Protect the Internet

WASHINGTON - April 26 - Today marks the closing of the official public comment cycle in the Federal Communications Commission's open Internet proceeding. Free Press will file reply comments today with the FCC, urging the agency to move forward with its plans to promote innovation and investment online by preserving the free and open Internet.

Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner made the following statement:

"Net Neutrality has been a hot topic of debate in Washington and around the country ever since the first threats to destroy the open Internet were made in 2005. Since that time, the public has weighed in overwhelmingly with their desire to see policymakers preserve the open Internet. American consumers need the FCC to act as their champion and to stand up against the powerful phone and cable companies that would rather sacrifice economic growth and the common good in a short-sighted attempt to protect their old business models.

"Though the industry continues to trot out their hackneyed 'solution in search of a problem' rhetoric, in recent weeks two more broadband service providers were exposed for violating open Internet principles. DSL provider Windstream used so-called deep packet inspection tools to hijack search queries on its subscribers' Web browser toolbars. And cable provider RCN was caught discriminating against peer-to-peer traffic in the same way Comcast and Cox Communications have in the past.

"It's clear that violations of the open Internet are ongoing and kept secret from consumers. If the FCC fails to establish basic rules of the road, we can expect much more of the same from broadband providers.

"The fundamental question before policymakers is: Who should be trusted with the future of the Internet, these companies that have repeatedly violated open Internet principles or consumers?

"Should we trust Verizon's arguments about how Net Neutrality will hurt jobs, while the company simultaneously brags to Wall Street about firing workers even in the face of rising profits?

"Should we trust AT&T when it says openness principles will lead to higher prices, even as it openly discusses new schemes to price-gouge customers despite its own declining costs?

"Should we listen to Time Warner Cable's talking points about how Net Neutrality will harm investment, even as it boasts of its plans to only roll out 'surgical' investment in next-generation technologies in the limited areas where it faces real competition?  

"Or should we listen to and trust in the millions of consumers and small businesses that make the Internet so valuable and such an important part of our economic and social lives?

"It is time for the FCC to finally move forward with rules to protect the open Internet."

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net



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