House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai on Monday expressing her disapproval of the FCC's proposal to "dismantle" "net neutrality" regulations.
"Consumers should be able to use the internet on the device they want, using the apps and services they want without their internet provider standing in the way," Pelosi, D-Calif. wrote. "I support the current rules because they are in place to protect consumers, and I oppose your efforts to eliminate them."
In mid-May, the FCC voted to move forward with and begin the comment period on Pai's proposal to undo Obama-era "net neutrality" rules that reclassified Internet service providers to Title II public utilities subject to FCC regulation. The initial goal of "net neutrality" was to create an even playing field on the Internet, but Republicans and ISPs argue that it could stifle innovation.
The Democratic leader made note that both her and the FCC chairman share the common goal of giving Americans a choice when it comes to high-speed Internet, however, most Americans have only one "choice" when it comes to getting high-speed Internet in their homes, the senator said.
Pelosi "encouraged" Pai to read the 50 pages of excerpts from statements made by broadband providers telling investors that Title II will have no impact on their investments.
"But if you don't have the time, in December 2015, AT&T's CEO told investors that the company would ‘deploy more fiber' in 2016 than it did in 2015, and that Title II would not impede its future business plans," Pelosi wrote. "In December 2016, Comcast's chief financial officer said that any concerns Comcast had about reclassification were based on ‘the fear of what Title II could have meant, more than what it actually mean.'"
Pelosi also voiced her concern over Pai disregarding the large amounts of comments filed by the public, opposing the FCC's proposal. She reminded Pai that the "Administrative Procedures Act" prohibits him and his team from disregarding comments.
Pelosi requested Pai come to San Francisco to hold a public hearing for startups who will be affected by Title II due to their dependence on "net neutrality."
"Finally if you believe that online public comments are coming from ‘AstroTurf' sources and are of questionable integrity, then you must hear directly from the public in official hearings outside of Washington, DC,' Pelosi wrote. "It would be my pleasure to invite you and your colleagues to hold a public hearing in San Francisco to hear from my constituents on this important matter."