#FullCmte to Hold Hearing with Leading Edge Providers and ISPs on Ground Rules for Internet
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) announced a Full Committee hearing entitled, “Ground Rules for the Internet Ecosystem” on Thursday, September 7 at 10 a.m. in 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Walden made the announcement during opening statements at today’s hearing called “Oversight and Reauthorization of the Federal Communications Commission.” Following the announcement, the Committee sent invitations to CEOs of leading tech companies, including Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, and Netflix and broadband providers including Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and Charter Communications, requesting they testify before the full committee.
“A strong consensus is forming across party lines and across industries that it’s time for Congress to call a halt on the back-and-forth and set clear net neutrality ground rules for the internet,” said Chairman Walden. “In some form or another, we have been working for at least 20 years on the intertwined goals of incentivizing the huge investments needed to connect Americans, while keeping the internet open and protecting consumer privacy. With almost everyone in agreement about fundamental principles to prevent anti-competitive behavior such as throttling and blocking, I think we are closer than ever to achieving a lasting resolution. The time has come to get everyone to the table and get this figured out.”
Chairman Blackburn agreed adding, “The last FCC, at the behest of President Obama, pushed far beyond its legal authority to create an unstable set of mandates and a mountain of unanswered questions. The ensuing drama has benefitted certain interest groups but has been detrimental for American innovators and consumers, whose experience and reliance on the Internet are diminished by the lack of clear and predictable rules. Like Title II classification, the inflammatory rhetoric is unsustainable, so it has been encouraging to see a change in tone from some quarters and willingness to work with Congress to bring needed certainty to all participants in the internet economy. I expect this hearing will create an opportunity for fruitful discussions and a real solution.”