Today, the FCC voted 3-2 along party lines to roll back the 2015 net neutrality regulations put in place by the prior FCC. It was a disappointing, but not an unexpected outcome from our point of view.
On the one hand, we have always believed that Internet access meets the definition of a common carrier service and should, therefore, be regulated in a similar fashion to common carrier services. We also agreed with the FCC minority and both of Maine’s Senators that the evidence of widespread tampering and fraud in the public comment process warranted, at a minimum, open public hearings prior to bringing the issue to a vote.
On the other hand, the issue was divided along party lines from the start, and there was never very much chance that Chairman Ajit Pai, a long time opponent of Net Neutrality, was going to forestall the vote.
OTELCO has spoken out loudly and often in defense of Net Neutrality.
- We have blogged in support of the open Internet no less than nine times over the past year, with the most recent post appearing last week.
- We published an Op-Ed in the Portland Press Herald calling for support of open hearings before bringing net neutrality to a vote.
- Our CEO appeared on Maine Calling yesterday to voice our concerns about the vote, even as the results were coming in.
We are not done.
Even before the vote, we mailed letters to our Senators and Congresspeople in Maine, Alabama and Missouri imploring them to support Congressional action to clarify the FCC’s role in ensuring and protecting an open Internet. Here is an example of those letters. We will continue to work with our delegations to help pass legislation ensuring unfettered access to the Internet for all Americans.
To Our Customers: OTELCO Internet is an Open Internet.
OTELCO has never engaged in throttling or paid prioritization of its Internet access services, and we never will. This ruling does not change that. We will continue to do what we can to protect your privacy and your unfettered access to everything the world wide web has to offer.
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