Mayor Durkan Condemns FCC Repeal of Net Neutrality Regulations

Seattle to Take Action to Uphold Core Principles of Open Internet

SEATTLE (December 14, 2017)— Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan condemned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote rolling back Net Neutrality regulations. Following this 3-2 vote, carriers will now have the freedom to slow down or block the delivery of information over the internet unless customers pay more. Last week, Mayor Durkan joined 68 Mayors across the country in signing a letter to the FCC in opposition to the Restoring Internet Freedom Draft Order. Earlier this year, the City of Seattle has launched a site highlighting the City’s support for net neutrality.

“The FCC’s irresponsible and reckless decision weakens our democracy. Our City and state are committed to fighting this decision and will be taking action to protect fair and open access to the internet. In the weeks and months to come, I will be working with the City Attorney, Seattle IT, the Council, and others to examine steps our City can take to maximize the principles of net neutrality and protect online freedoms. It is critical our City is working to ensure the freedom of the internet is not controlled by service providers, especially as we bring 5G service online,” said Mayor Durkan.

“By Seattle holding firm to our beliefs, that all residents deserve fair rights to the internet, we’re sending a clear message,” said City Council President Bruce Harrell (District 2, South Seattle). “Fair and equal access to the internet help pull people out of the digital divide and allows them to better their lives.”

“I believe that in today’s world, everyone should have access to the internet and all of the resources it provides. By working to close the ‘digital divide,’ we reduce economic disparities experienced by many of our low-income, disabled, and community members of color. We will continue to work to ensure that all Seattle residents and businesses have access to unrestricted, affordable internet through all the tools at our disposal, including consumer protections, local regulations, or public infrastructure so that the opportunities provided by the internet are shared equitably by all.” said Councilmember Rob Johnson (District 4, NE Seattle).

Mayor Durkan is committed to ensuring internet service providers who operate within the City of Seattle and whose infrastructure occupies the public right-of-way uphold the principles of net neutrality and not block or throttle lawful content, discriminate against lawful traffic, or engage in paid prioritization.

Mayor Durkan is hopeful the state mandates net neutrality, but Seattle must be ready to protect the internet. Thus, she will also direct all City departments to work with the City Council to draft an ordinance to create legal protections that ensure all Seattle residents receive open and equitable access to the internet consistent with their experience under Obama-era regulations.

###