FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2018
Rep. Kawasaki Seeks Restoration of Net Neutrality by Internet Providers
HJR 31 Urges Congress to Overturn Last Month’s FCC Decision Ending Net Neutrality
Juneau – Earlier today, Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) introduced a resolution asking the U.S. Congress to overturn last month’s controversial decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ending the requirement that internet providers practice net neutrality. The FCC’s decision reversed an earlier decision that prevented internet providers from treating customers differently depending on how they use the internet.
“Millions of Americans spoke out in support of equality and fairness when they participated in the FCC’s public process regarding net neutrality. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration’s version of the FCC gave greater weight to the wishes of the big internet and media conglomerates than individual Americans and Alaskans,” said Rep. Kawasaki. “I am hopeful that Congress can find the will to reverse this ill-advised decision and stand up for regular people. If they don’t, then the big corporations will continue to scheme ways to make money at the expense of individual freedoms and your ability to use the internet how you see fit.”
Net neutrality protects an individual’s ability to access and transmit information on the internet by requiring internet service providers to treat all websites equally. Last month’s FCC decision to end net neutrality allows providers to impose additional charges for access to certain websites or to slow down or even block access to websites.
The public process the FCC used to examine net neutrality has come under scrutiny because of the 2 million public comments that were linked to stolen identities and nearly 500,000 comments that were generated from Russian email addresses.
“The process is fundamentally flawed when identity thieves can influence regulatory decisions to the detriment of the 80 percent of Americans who support the concepts of fairness and equality inherent in the practice of net neutrality,” said Rep. Kawasaki. “I have faith that we can reverse this decision if enough of us, including my colleagues in the Alaska Legislature, stand up and demand that Congress act in the best interests of the people.”
The issue of net neutrality is especially important in Alaska because the state’s size and isolation results in Alaskans relying heavily on the internet to stay connected and to participate in the ever-growing online world economy. Many communities struggle with reliable and affordable internet access, which could be exacerbated if the FCC’s decision to revoke net neutrality is allowed to stand.
“Congress has the ability to nullify this shortsighted decision. The question is will they? I am hopeful that they will if they listen to the millions of individuals and businesses who rely on a free and open internet. I put forward this resolution because the Alaska Legislature should join this effort to protect the free flow of information that Alaskans expect and demand,” said Rep. Kawasaki.
House Joint Resolution 31 was formally introduced today. The resolution was referred to the House State Affairs Committee.
For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.