- Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine wrote a letter to Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, urging him to cancel Thursday’s vote on net neutrality.
- Collins and King argue that the process moved too quickly and didn’t allow for public hearings or a proper investigation into the economic effect.
- “We are concerned about the proposed order’s impact on the free market that has driven growth in our economy for years, and the potential adverse effect on rural America’s ability to realise the internet’s full potential,” Collins and King wrote.
Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King are calling on Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, to cancel Thursday’s vote on net neutrality.
In a letter published Thursday morning, Collins and King urged Pai to cancel the vote to give Congress and the FCC time to hold public hearings. Collins, a Republican, and King, an independent, are the senators from Maine.
“This is a matter of enormous importance with significant implications for our entire economy, and therefore merits the most thorough, deliberate, and thoughtful process that can be provided,” Collins and King wrote. “The process thus far in this important matter has not met that standard.”
Collins and King also argued that repealing net-neutrality protections could adversely affect the economy and stifle innovation, particularly in rural parts of the US.
“Repealing the FCC’s net neutrality rules will undermine longstanding protections that have ensured the open internet as a powerful and transformative platform of innovation and economic opportunity,” the senators wrote. “We are concerned about the proposed order’s impact on the free market that has driven growth in our economy for years, and the potential adverse effect on rural America’s ability to realise the internet’s full potential.”
The FCC on Thursday will vote on a proposal to repeal its net-neutrality rules (here’s how to watch the hearing live).
Without net-neutrality protections, internet service providers could block users from streaming-video sites like Netflix or YouTube, for example, or charge extra to access them. They could also force them to pay more to ensure videos stream at the same speed and quality as others.
A rollback of the rules wouldn’t take effect for a few months – some 60 days after being published in the Federal Register. In the meantime, consumer-advocacy groups and other opponents would almost certainly file lawsuits to try to block the order. Members of Congress, particularly Democrats, would be likely to introduce legislation to overturn it.
Business Insider will be at the FCC hearing in Washington. For the latest update, head over to Tech Insider.