Press Releases

Cantwell, DelBene to FCC Chairman: “Abandon Your Ill-Conceived & Rash Plan to Dismantle the Strong and Robust Net Neutrality Rules”

In Seattle, Cantwell and DelBene announce their latest push to save the free and open internet with tech leaders ?

f t # e
Washington, D.C., December 9, 2017 | comments

SEATTLE – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai urging him to do his job and drop his misguided attempt at repealing net neutrality rules.

“Undoing the existing strong net neutrality rules will harm our economy and is the exact opposite of the FCC’s mission to protect the public interest and promote access to networks,” said Sen. Cantwell and Rep. DelBene. “The future of the internet is at risk. The FCC’s proper stewardship of our communications networks is more important than ever for continued job growth stemming from the booming internet economy.”

Sen. Cantwell and Rep. DelBene are particularly concerned about how Washington’s economy will be affected if Pai follows through on his goals to shackle the free and open internet. A quarter of a million jobs and 13 percent of the state’s economy are dependent on a robust, vibrant Internet economy. 

More than 400,000 Washingtonians, recognizing the importance of net neutrality to Washington state’s economy, have filed comments with the FCC concerning the plan.

“Weakening the internet economy will be particularly harmful to the economy of Washington state. On behalf of all Washingtonians and consumers and innovators that rely on toll free access to a free and open internet, we strongly urge you to make the right decision and stand up for the consumers you committed to protect when you took your oath of office,” the members of Congress continued.

Sen. Cantwell and Rep. DelBene issued their appeal with tech leaders at Seattle’s Galvanize, a Seattle coworking space featuring a mix of entrepreneurs, programmers, data scientists, and others who thrive on the free and open internet.

Net neutrality protections make sure we have an open and free internet and prohibit cable companies and service providers from slowing down or blocking content, applications or websites.

The full letter to Chairman Pai is below:

Dear Chairman Pai:

We write to urge you to abandon your ill-conceived and rash plan to dismantle the strong and robust net neutrality rules that have fueled the growth of our $1 trillion internet economy. The internet economy is now over 7% of US GDP and employs almost 7 million people.

Moreover, the internet economy has grown faster than any other sector in the U.S., having boosted employment while many other industries in the U.S. were shedding jobs in the last economic downturn. It is undisputed that our strong, robust open internet drove this tremendous economic growth.

The mission of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is to promote the use and deployment of communications in the public interest, and the job of the FCC Chairman is to make sure that mission is being carried out. Undoing the existing strong net neutrality rules will harm our economy and is the exact opposite of the FCC’s mission to protect the public interest and promote access to networks.

Weakening the internet economy will be particularly harmful to the economy of Washington state. The internet economy is responsible for 13% of Washington state’s economic output. A quarter of a million jobs in Washington state depend on the continued good health and vibrancy of our internet economy.

The “App Economy,” which consists of everybody who makes money and has a job thanks to mobile apps powered by an open internet, is another example of the power of the internet economy made possible by the existing net neutrality rules. Today, 1.7 million Americans have jobs because of the App Economy.  Nearly 92,000 of those jobs are in Washington state.

The FCC’s proper stewardship of our communications networks is more important than ever for continued job growth stemming from the booming internet economy. 

On behalf of all Washingtonians and the consumers and innovators who rely on toll free access to a free and open internet, we strongly urge you to make the right decision and stand up for the consumers you committed to protect when you took your oath of office.

Sincerely,

Senator Maria Cantwell

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene

###

f t # e