We Must Preserve Net Neutrality

Dear Friend,

Ensuring a free and open internet is essential for New Mexico businesses and internet users to access broadband on an even playing field. As a staunch supporter of net neutrality, I believe the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must have strong, enforceable rules. The internet must remain open and conducive to free expression, innovation, and competition, not a tiered system based on financial relationships with internet service providers.

In 2015, the FCC adopted the Open Internet Order, which reclassified broadband as a telecommunication service and prohibited internet service providers from setting up internet fast and slow lanes, ensuring all online traffic is treated the same. But President Trump's FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has proposed gutting those net neutrality protections. Eliminating of the Open Internet Order would prohibit the FCC from adopting other important protections, such as expanding the Lifeline program to broadband, protecting subscribers' broadband privacy, and promoting broadband competition.

Today, I sent a letter to Chairman Pai calling on the FCC to extend its public comment period. The FCC received more than 15 million comments on the FCC's proposal to undo strong net neutrality protections. This incredible volume of comments signals the public's keen interest in this issue. The FCC currently plans to allow only 30 days for reply comments. This is a departure from a similar proceeding in 2014 with when FCC allowed Americans 60 days to submit comments. We must ensure that all voices are heard.

I'd like to thank each of you who submitted comments to the FCC. Your voices matter and can make a major difference. I want to assure you that I'm standing with you. I am a strong believer that innovation is what America does best, and a free and open internet is vital in that endeavor.

Sincerely,

MARTIN HEINRICH
United States Senator