December 14, 2017

Sen. Bye Decries Today’s Controversial FCC Vote to Reverse Net Neutrality Rules

Nearly two years after attending a historic Federal Communications Commission event to
adopt strong, open Internet rules, State Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) today lashed out at today’s FCC decision – made by appointees of Republican President Donald Trump – to scrap existing net neutrality rules and replace them with controversial, anti-democracy, anti-consumer, anti-business Internet regulations instead.

Today’s FCC action has been widely criticized by various consumer, democracy, and small business advocates. According to an analysis by The Washington Post, Republican regulators voted today to allow Internet providers to speed up service for some apps and websites, and block or slow down others, despite a recent survey showing that 83 percent of Americans oppose the plan.

“Today’s reversal by the FCC of America’s net neutrality law is a huge win for already profitable business monopolies and a huge loss for consumers and business start-ups,” Sen. Bye said. “Fair and equal access to the Internet is vital to our democracy. Today’s action by the FCC threatens our democracy and threatens our rights as citizens, as consumers, and as business owners. The dismantling of net neutrality only caters to and lines the pockets of massive communications companies like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and others.”

“I have spent the last few years fighting these types of giant communications monopolies in my quest to bring high speed, affordable gigabit Internet service to Connecticut,” Sen. Bye said. “Now, with today’s action by the FCC, I will be working ever harder to restore net neutrality right here in Connecticut. It will be a difficult task, given that some of the companies that stand to benefit the most from today’s misguided FCC decision operate right here in our state. But we have to ensure an even playing field on the Internet for start-ups and small businesses We also need to ensure that all students, regardless of income, have access to the technology they need to innovate and succeed.”

In March 2015, at the invitation of former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, Sen. Bye attended a historic FCC vote on net neutrality in Washington, D.C. Then, the FCC voted to adopt strong, open Internet rules to ensure that Americans reap the economic, social and civic benefits of an open Internet today and into the future, including the preservation of so-called “net neutrality.”

Sen. Bye attended that 2015 announcement in her role as a strong advocate for the “CT Gig Project” to help create local gigabit Internet networks across Connecticut that would deliver Internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (1,000 megabits per second), which is 100 times faster than the average home Internet speed.