Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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Nolan: Internet Must Be “Free and Equally Accessible to Everyone”

Nov 13, 2014
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – “Wealthy corporations must not be permitted to buy special access to the internet - the internet should be free and equally accessible to everyone, ” U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan said today as he welcomed President Obama’s decision to press the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt new rules to ensure “net neutrality.”

“Net neutrality is a common sense concept that requires all internet content to move at the same speed in order to encourage entrepreneurs, promote innovation, protect small businesses and ensure fairness for consumers. Just as our laws protect against monopolies in the business world, a few massive corporations should not be able to use their size and wealth to control content or speed in the online world,” Nolan added.

Earlier this week, the President urged the FCC to adopt new rules reclassifying the internet as a utility – thus preventing creation of an internet “fast lane” large corporations could use to move their content at much higher speeds for a much higher price – and preventing broadband companies from stopping or hindering legal online content.

Nolan pointed out that the FCC is answerable more to Congress than to the President because Congress controls the agency’s budget and the laws under which it operates. He said calls and letters to his office overwhelmingly favor strong net neutrality guarantees.

“Our laws and policies should be encouraging, not discouraging, small business growth, innovation and job creation. The last thing we need is a two-tiered internet which allows big companies to purchase premium access, while small companies are effectively shut out,” Nolan continued.

The net neutrality debate began in earnest last January after a federal appeals court struck down the FCC’s previous rules for net neutrality. The commission released proposed new rules in May, and since then more than 4 million people have sent comments – the majority of which are said to favor the strong net neutrality rules Nolan also supports. The FCC is reportedly moving closer to a decision, but there is no specific timeframe.