Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Notations On Our World (Special Mid-Week Edition): A Response On Our Founder's Concerns re #NetNeutrality from Congressman Dana Rohrbacher

January 9, 2018

Mr. Mike Pouraryan

Dear Mr. Pouraryan:

Because of your interest in policy relating to the Internet and “net neutrality,” I am writing to make sure you aware of recent action on this subject. 

As you are aware, in 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implemented the Open Internet Order.  That rule, commonly known as net neutrality, established various limitations on Internet Service Providers (ISP).  Included among those restrictions were (1) a requirement that ISPs disclose information regarding the management of their networks, (2) a prohibition on mobile and broadband ISPs from blocking lawful websites, content, apps, and other web-based products, and (3) a prohibition on unreasonable discrimination in the transmission of lawful network traffic.  

On December 14, 2017, the FCC voted to rescind the Open Internet Order.  Congress was not involved in either action, though in the wake of the rule’s reversal, various legislative proposals have been offered to reinstate some or all of it, including H.R. 4682, the Open Internet Preservation Act.  H.R. 4682 was introduced by Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee on December 19, 2017, and subsequently referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.  If enacted, this bill would, among other things, prohibit the blocking of lawful content, applications, and services in addition to barring the impairment of Internet traffic based on those things.  It would also define the provision of broadband Internet as an information service.  Though I do not serve on this committee, I welcome your input on this important matter and will keep it in mind should any legislation related to regulation of the Internet receive a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives.

It is an honor to represent you in Congress.  For more information on my voting record, please visit my website, www.rohrabacher.house.gov.  I welcome feedback on my performance as your Representative and hope you will keep me informed of your views on any federal matter of importance to you.  

Dana Rohrabacher 
Member of Congress

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