Consumers Union Urges Court to Uphold Net Neutrality

CUNetNeutralityBrief915.pdf | 499.9 KB

Monday, September 21, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, today filed a legal brief in strong support of the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules.  These historic, pro-consumer rules are being challenged by the telecommunications industry in federal court.

Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union, said, “Consumers have spoken out loud and clear.  They want an open Internet.  It’s not surprising that industry is pulling out all the stops to try to overturn the rules. But we are not backing down. The future of the Internet as we know it is at stake.  The FCC did the right thing, it had the authority to do it, and we will keep fighting to defend it.”

Derakhshani said the rules are critical to ensuring consumers can access the websites and apps they choose without their Internet service provider playing gatekeeper, charging some sites for special treatment, while other sites are saddled with slower speeds and second-class status. The FCC approved the rules in February after millions of consumers filed comments in support of an open Internet.

CU today submitted an amicus brief in favor of the rules to the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit, which is preparing to hold hearings on the industry challenges in December.

The brief cites Consumer Reports’ national surveys that demonstrate strong support for net neutrality rules.  A June 2014 CR survey found that 58% of consumers agreed that “the government should not allow Internet service providers to charge companies to deliver their content with greater priority than other companies”; only 16% thought it was a good idea.

In the amicus brief, CU wrote, “An open Internet promotes online innovation, competition, free expression, and infrastructure deployment, all of which greatly benefit consumers in the form of promoting more choice online, better affordability, greater Internet access speeds, and greater ability and freedom to communicate and receive information.  A hallmark of the Internet has been that consumers could access all online services without interference from their Internet providers. These rules are an appropriate and well-suited means, clearly within the FCC’s authority, for ensuring the Internet remains open for everyone.”

A copy of Consumers Union’s amicus brief is available here.

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Contact: David Butler, (202) 462-6262