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Free Press Applauds House Leadership for Support of Open Internet, FCC Authority

Speaker Pelosi Joins Commerce Committee Chairmen Rockefeller and Waxman

WASHINGTON - On a call with bloggers Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) affirmed her support for Net Neutrality, universal broadband access and “reclassification” that would restore Federal Communications Commission authority over Internet service providers. Along with Speaker Pelosi, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John (Jay) Rockefeller (D-Calif.) have affirmed support for the FCC’s Internet agenda.

“Part of the innovation agenda I advocated for when I became leader was universal broadband. We had hoped to get it done within five years,” Speaker Pelosi said. “We just got the bill passed three years ago under President Bush, but we had no funding. Now we want to have the resources to take us to that place so we don’t have a disparity between urban and rural populations. Reclassification, Net Neutrality, universal access for every American, these are priorities for us. And we see it not in isolation, but as part of a new prosperity, as a job creator, to make America healthier, smarter and an international leader.”

Speaker Pelosi also indicated that legislation serving as an obstacle to these goals would not be coming from Democratic legislators. “I don’t know how many options they have unless they choose to work with Republicans, but it’s not going to be a Democratic initiative,” Speaker Pelosi said.

Josh Silver, president and CEO of Free Press, said:

“We applaud Speaker Pelosi for standing up for the American people and in support of the free and open Internet. Congressional leadership strongly supports the FCC’s agenda and its authority to bring fast, open and affordable Internet to all Americans.”

“We need clear rules of the road moving forward. It is essential that the FCC have the necessary authority to implement its National Broadband Plan, and ensure that rural, disabled and low-income Americans have access to high-speed Internet. We’re pleased to hear that the Speaker will not support efforts from any Democratic legislators to stall or prevent these policies from taking shape.”

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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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