News Release

FCC Chairman Still Lobbying for Telecom Industry on Net Neutrality?

The New York Times reports: “Pressure Mounts on F.C.C. Chief Over Net Neutrality Rules.” President Obama recently said: “Net neutrality has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas. That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.”

MARGARET FLOWERS, M.D., mdpnhp at gmail.com, @MFlowers8
Flowers is an organizer of PopularResistance.org, which is engaging in a series of actions in D.C. on this issue. Flowers directly challenged FCC chairperson Wheeler. See: “Net Neutrality Activists Blockade FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s House.”

CRAIG AARON, caaron at freepress.net, @notaaroncraig
President and CEO of Free Press, Aaron said today that Wheeler “is increasingly isolated and pushing an unworkable plan that no one supports. The FCC Chairman reportedly said he has to ‘find a way to split the baby.’ I’m no biblical scholar, but pretty sure the point of that story is that you can’t split a baby. And you can’t cut the Internet in half, either. You can either stand with the public or just protect the biggest phone and cable companies. That’s the choice Tom Wheeler has to make, and it should be an easy one.”

MALKIA CYRIL, malkia at mediajustice.org, @culturejedi
Executive director of the Center for Media Justice, Cyril said today: “One of the few people who doesn’t seem to get the need for bright line network neutrality rules grounded in Title II authority is FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. He failed to implement a wide public hearing process. Instead of providing market certainty, he’s considering legally dubious ‘hybrid’ rules that offer nothing but uncertainty. Instead of standing with the President on a bi-partisan network neutrality plan, the Democratic Chairman of the FCC is acting like a corporate lobbyist. It’s time for the FCC to do its job and protect the people of the United States from digital discrimination with a swift vote to reclassify broadband as a common carrier service. Communities of color and America’s low income communities can’t wait any more. Enough is enough.”

In 2013, when Wheeler was picked to be FCC Chairman, former FCC Commissioner Nicholas Johnson noted in an IPA news release that “Wheeler’s background is as a trade association representative for companies appearing before the Commission, a lobbyist in Congress for other FCC customers, and a venture capitalist investing in and profiting from others whose requests he’ll have to pass on. … A bizarre choice.”