Senator Patrick Leahy: U.S. Senate Field Hearing In Vermont On Open Internet Rules
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Senator Patrick Leahy, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, holds a field hearing in Vermont on “Preserving an Open Internet: Rules to Promote Competition and Protect Main Street Consumers.” A panel of four witnesses testify at the hearing, including Michael Copps, a former Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission; Martha Reid, Vermont State Librarian; Cabot Orton, proprietor of the Vermont Country Store; and Lisa Groeneveld, co-owner and Chief Operating Officer of the South Burlington-based Logic Supply Inc.
The Judiciary Committee field hearing focuses on the need to restore open Internet rules to replace FCC rules that were struck down earlier this year by the D.C. Circuit Court, including the rule prohibiting broadband providers from blocking lawful content and the rule barring them from unreasonably discriminating against lawful Internet traffic. The FCC currently is accepting public comments on a new set of proposed open Internet rules.
Leahy recently introduced legislation to require the FCC to ban so-called “paid prioritization” agreements between broadband providers and content providers, to help prevent creation of a two-tiered Internet system. The legislation, the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act, would ensure that start-ups, entrepreneurs and small businesses, like the Vermont Country Store and Logic Supply, have ready access to the marketplace.
The Senator is joined by Vermont's sole Representative to Congress, Peter Welch (D).