Washington State Leads and the Nation Must Follow on Net Neutrality

Seattle (February 28) – Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan sent the following letter to Congressional leaders in response to the Washington State Legislature’s passage of a bill protecting net neutrality.

February 28, 2018

Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan, and Leader Pelosi:

The decision of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to dismantle open internet protections is reckless and irresponsible. I join mayors across our country, who represent millions of Americans, to write in support of the Resolution of Disapproval of the FCC’s Order to repeal net neutrality rules. Congress must urgently take action ahead of the FCC’s new net neutrality policy going into effect on April 23.

Each city, town, village, county, and state in this nation is unique, and faces its own challenges in embracing the digital future. Fair and open access to the internet levels the playing field for businesses, empowers community organizing, and enables access to education opportunities for people across the nation. The Commission’s proposal prohibits local leaders from protecting our constituents, businesses, and economies from abusive service provider practices. Many of these concerns were shared and voiced in 13,000 pages of net neutrality complaints filed by millions of citizens and hundreds of community organizations and local leaders, which the FCC willfully ignored.

A free and open internet forms the backbone of the twenty-first century economy and is a vital part of our modern democracy. Allowing service providers to throttle or deny access to the internet at will threatens our basic freedoms online. The FCC has thrown away the fundamental democratic principle of net neutrality. I strongly support the Congressional Review Act resolution to right this wrong by reversing the FCC’s Order.

The Washington State Legislature recently passed legislation applicable to all internet service providers serving Washington residents that bans the blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization of legal online content. In doing so, we are among the first states to pass legislation that imposes net neutrality rules on all providers.

Washington state is leading the nation to protect our citizens’ rights to net neutrality, but our country and Congress must follow suit. More than half of U.S. states have pending net neutrality legislation. I implore them, and Congress, to follow Washington state’s lead in taking immediate and decisive action to protect our constituents from the irresponsible actions of the FCC and the predatory practices that will follow.

Sincerely,

Jenny A. Durkan

Mayor of Seattle

View a copy of the letter here.