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Adler joins elected officials in support of net neutrality

Friday, December 8, 2017 by Katy McElroy

Mayor Steve Adler joined 57 other mayors and county elected officials yesterday in signing a letter opposing the Restoring Internet Freedom Draft Order. The proposal was made by Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai, who seeks to dismantle net neutrality protections put in place during the Obama administration. Pai was appointed to the FCC by former President Barack Obama in 2012 and designated chair by President Donald Trump in January of this year. The letter, which is addressed to Pai as well as the other four commissioners, states that Adler and the rest of the officials “strongly oppose the Commission’s proposal. It offers carte blanche to powerful service providers but little more than promises to consumers. The Commission’s approach puts those few companies ahead of millions of Americans, tens of thousands of businesses which depend on a free and open Internet, and local communities solving everyday problems Americans face.” An article yesterday in The Guardian states that “the main support Pai has for the rollback comes from the handful of powerful broadband companies that stand to benefit, including Comcast and his former employer Verizon.” Supporters of the repeal argue that the existing rules are government interference that discourages service improvements. However, polls have shown that the majority of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, support retaining the net neutrality rules in place, and activists and some senators have been trying to get the FCC to at least delay the vote in the wake of recent questions raised about possible fishiness in the proposal’s public comment process. A recent article in The Texas Tribune also warned about the negative effects a repeal could have on small businesses. The activist group Battle for the Net is urging those opposed to the proposal to call their Republican members of Congress to make their objection known. There were a number of protests at Verizon stores across the U.S. yesterday, and several more are planned before the scheduled FCC vote on Dec. 14.

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