Local Politicians React To FCC Net Neutrality Ruling

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBZ-AM/24/7 News Source) -- Net neutrality rules are being overturned by the FCC.  The vote of the commission was 3-2.  

The Obama-era regulations required Internet service providers to treat all traffic equally. 

Repealing the rules means telecom giants can speed up, slow down or block traffic from certain websites and apps.  

Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr said net neutrality amounts to massive government overreach. Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called it heavy-handed government regulation and micro-management. 

Pai mocked critics of repealing the rules, insisting that the sky is not falling and the Internet will remain open.   

Locally in Boston, both local politicians and the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation expressed their disappointment towards the vote.

Rep. Joe Kennedy said the decision was wrong, and done in the face of bipartisan backlash.

"The decision by Chairman Pai and the Trump administration flies in the face of the vast majority of Americans who rely on the internet day to day, whether that's finding a job, making sure their kids get access to the information they need to do their homework, online shopping, or building a business," he said. 

Kennedy said the fight isn't over, and said even Republicans were showing support for reversing the order.

"This isn't an issue that I think solely Congress is going to do on its own," he said. "But I think where we see a regulatory agency drastically act in the face of the American public and what our country wants, needs, and depends on, I think Congress has got to step up."

Sen. Ed Markey called the decision "a disgrace," and said the vote "cuts at the very heart of a free and open Internet."

"The Internet, this monumental, diverse, dynamic, democratic platform, is under attack," Markey told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

He said that, with the decision, Internet consumers and small, entrepreneurial Internet and software companies across the state and country will lose.

"This is about internet equality," he said. "It's making sure the big players and the small players all get treated the same. It's making sure the consumers can't be tipped upside down and have money shaken out of their pockets by their internet service providers, by AT&T, by Comcast, by all of the broadband companies."

Sen. Markey likened the decision to other Trump administration moves.

"It's very consistent with what the Trump administration is doing with the Affordable Care Act, with the Paris Climate Accord," he said. "They are taking direct aim at the clean energy economy, the healthcare of our people, and here, the equality on the internet that every citizen right now enjoys. And there will be a political price to pay for those who are on the wrong side of history in the next election cycle."

He said he will file a Congressional Review Act along with 18 of his Senate colleagues, and intends to additionally file an amicus brief to bring the case to federal court and, if necessary, the Supreme Court.

"What they are doing right now is illegal in my opinion, and we have to take it to court and fight it," he said.

Stay with WBZ NewsRadio1030 as this story develops.

LISTEN: Sen. Ed Markey reacts to FCC Net Neutrality decision

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