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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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