Over the last several years, legislators in several branches of the government have proposed changes to the Internet and regulations to govern it. The Senate Commerce Committee’s first Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Oversight Hearing of 2017 has recently convened. The American Library Association (ALA), along with 170 other organizations have forwarded letters to the committee stating their concern and wishes that the Internet remain “free and open.”
Their letter; “urges these leaders to support and continue to enforce the 2015 Open Internet Order and to oppose legislative and regulatory actions that would threaten the strong net neutrality rules already in place.”
ALA President Julie Todaro said in a statement: “Libraries are committed to net neutrality because, at our core, libraries are committed to open and equal access to information for all people. We’ll continue to work hard with our many coalition partners to ensure the flow of information on the internet is not blocked, slowed or manipulated by commercial Internet Service Providers.”
The letter reads in part: “Protecting net neutrality is crucial to ensuring that the internet remains a central driver of economic growth and opportunity, job creation, education, free expression, and civic organizing for everyone,” the letter reads. “The continuation of net neutrality is essential to the continued growth of the country and to ensuring access to social, political, and economic empowerment for all.”
It was just two years ago when the ALA, and other grass-roots organizations engaged with the committee and lawmakers over the same issues.