WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Rep. Doris Matsui and Sen. Patrick Leahy introduced a bill called the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act, which calls upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take any action required to prevent Internet Service Providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from picking winners and losers in an online free market.
The FCC is currently accepting public comments in its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on “net neutrality.” The current proposal has received tremendous criticism for what many see as the enactment of a “two-tiered” Internet, in which companies with deep pockets receive priority access to subscribers, while creators and other entrepreneurs are relegated to the slow lane.
The following statement is attributed to Casey Rae, VP for Policy and Education at Future of Music Coalition—a national non-profit research, education and advocacy organization for musicians.
“We’re happy to see democratic leaders in Congress standing with thousands of musicians, independent labels and innovators in urging the FCC to stand up to powerful ISPs that want to undermine the Internet to the detriment of small business. We’ll be happier when the rest of Congress realizes what has become obvious to most Americans: an open, accessible Internet is the engine of a free market based in competition and innovation.
“Instead of waiting for Congress, the FCC can and should choose to classify broadband Internet as a telecommunications service to ensure that creative enterprise can flourish for generations to come. Artists and other entrepreneurs demand nothing less than the ability for the next great song, idea or innovation to find its audience, regardless of how that audience connects to the network. The time to act is now.”