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Statement of U.S. PIRG Consumer Program Director Ed Mierzwinski
“Today, the FCC issued a critical net neutrality order to re-classify the Internet as a "telecommunications service" rather than an "information service," while also making it clear that its order applies to the entire Internet, including mobile services. The FCC’s action today strengthens the free and open Internet for everybody, not just for firms willing to pay for fast lanes or otherwise favored by the cable and telephone companies that want to act as gatekeepers. Now, every new innovation, every small or new business and every diverse political or cultural idea, no matter how small or narrowly held, is digitally equal and cannot be relegated to a slow lane or otherwise throttled by Internet gatekeepers.
“The FCC also took another important step today. By overriding state laws that denied localities the opportunity to build out fast, lower-cost broadband networks, the FCC took a major step to close the digital divide and make the Internet available to more Americans, while ensuring that consumers have more choices in the marketplace.
“We commend President Obama, Chairman Tom Wheeler and Commissioners Rosenworcel and Clyburn for listening to the voices of over 4 million Americans who want the Internet to be open and free.
“We now need to make sure that Congress, at the behest of the cable and telephone companies, does not hinder the FCC’s ability to enforce its new orders holding that there is just one Internet that works for everybody.”
U.S. PIRG, the federation of non-partisan, non-profit state Public Interest Research Groups, is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.