CP photo by Ryan Deto
Pittsburghers that follow their congressman closely know that U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle
(D-Forest Hills) is pretty furious that the Federal Communications Commission wants to strip net-neutrality rules that govern the internet.
The FCC is proposing axing the rules, and FCC chair Ajit Pai announced a vote will take place today, Dec. 14. Republicans like Pai claim that current net-neutrality rules, which bar internet service providers from slowing down or favoring certain web content, are an overly burdensome regulation on the internet that has hurt investment.
But Democrats, like Doyle, believe that repealing the rules will hurt consumers.
"Congressman Doyle believes that Net Neutrality rules protect consumers who use the internet, promote competition among online business service providers, and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship — all leading to increased economic growth and improved standards of living," reads a statement from Doyle's office sent to Pittsburgh City Paper
The net-neutrality rules were enacted in 2015 under President Barack Obama.
Doyle is so upset that the FCC is considering changing these rules that he has taken to social media many times to criticize the Republicans' reasoning and penned a letter
to the FCC, signed by 117 Democratic members of Congress. No Republican members of Congress signed Doyle's letter. On Dec. 7, Doyle even participated in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) to answer questions from constituents.
During the Reddit AMA
, one user asked if the repeal of the Obama-era rule would simply mean the internet would function like it did before 2015. Doyle wrote that it would be worse. "Chairman Pai's proposal doesn't set us back to 2015, it sets us back to zero," Doyle wrote on Reddit. "His proposal would leave the FCC with no authority to protect consumers or competition."
Doyle wrote that net-neutrality rules were enacted because of actions by internet providers.
"To be honest, actions by [internet providers] are the reason we have Net Neutrality rules at all," wrote Doyle. "Before that, we had rules in place to limit what phone and cable companies could do with the information we entrusted them with — and the services they provided to us. The FCC's Open Internet Order was an extension of those commitments — to protect the internet ecosystem from ISP’s anti-consumer and anti-competitive actions."
Readers interested in following the action and the impending vote can do so on the Twitter Government