New Haven – Mayor Toni N. Harp today joined scores of other American mayors and chief elected officials and signed onto a letter addressed to Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The letter details the mayors’ opposition to the proposed repeal of the President Obama-era Open Internet Order, which established ‘net neutrality’ rules in the United States.
The 2015 order provides a level playing field for all internet content regardless of individual internet providers, reinforcing the idea of free and open internet service for all users. In May, under the Trump administration, the FCC voted to reconsider provisions of the 2015 order and contemplate full repeal.
“Net neutrality is a pocket book issue for American households,” the letter states. “When internet providers restrict access to certain types of content and services and charge residents for the luxury of accessing information and services online, we are all less free to participate in the modern economy.”
The letter cites five nondiscrimination principles memorialized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2014, ahead of the 2015 order:
- A commitment to transparency
- The free and unrestricted flow of information over the internet
- No blocking of law-abiding websites
- No unreasonable discrimination of lawful network traffic
- No paid prioritization
“Additionally, technology startups depend on net neutrality to gain fair and competitive access to customers,” the letter goes on to say. “A repeal of net neutrality rules could see innovative solutions from these startups relegated to the background as entrenched internet providers steer consumers to established solutions that can afford to pay for privileged status.”
“Our cities depend on a thriving startup community to drive innovation and our continued economic growth.”
With her signature on the letter, Mayor Harp joined the mayors of New York, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Chicago, and other major urban centers, “to ensure the principles of openness, freedom, and innovation continue to drive the American economy into the twenty-first century.