WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden joined other Senate Democrats on Friday in penning a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, urging him to schedule a vote on Net Neutrality before the policy expires on June 11.
“Without these protections, broadband providers can decide what content gets through to consumers at what speeds and could use this power to discriminate against their competitors or other content,” the senators wrote Ryan in a letter.
The U.S. Senate successfully passed a bill that would overturn the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) decision last month, when several Senate Republicans joined Democrats in support of the bill.
Republicans who have spoken out about Net Neutrality have largely supported the spirit of the policy, but referred to the FCC regulation of internet service providers as 'antiquated,' meanwhile characterizing the Democrat-led bill as 'political theater' since the prospect of getting it through the House was so unlikely.
“Under this new regime, the internet would no longer be a level playing field. Instead, big corporations who could pay would enjoy the benefits of a fast lane and speedy delivery of their content to consumers while those who could not pay these tolls – such as startups and small businesses, schools, rural Americans, and communities of color – would be disadvantaged,” the Democratic senators wrote.
Democrats have also launched a website to bring attention to the subject, beneath the banner of #SaveTheInternet. The site counts down the days, hours, minutes and seconds since the Senate passed their Net Neutrality bill without any action from Speaker Ryan.
"As we approach the June 11th formal implementation date of the FCC's net neutrality repeal, we strongly urge you to take up and pass S. J. Res. 52. It is essential that you take this step to protect...all who rely on the free and open internet," the letter concludes.