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Our Letter to the House: Don’t Roll Back Net Neutrality

Last Updated on February 16, 2011, 2:37 pm ET

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In a letter delivered this morning to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, ARL joined ALA and EDUCAUSE in voicing support for the Federal Communications Commission’s rules to protect the open Internet.

As our letter makes clear, higher education and libraries are prolific Internet users. Our institutions provide innovative content, services, and apps to researchers, students, fellow institutions, and the public, and they rely on the Internet for access to vital research and educational resources. Corporations selling entertainment programming can afford to pay ISPs a toll to get prioritized access to end users, but we simply cannot. When ISPs decide which sites we and the people we serve can access, education and research will inevitably be forced into a slow lane.

The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology is holding a hearing this morning with all five FCC commissioners to discuss net neutrality. It is widely believed that the chairman of that Subcommittee, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), will soon introduce a resolution to nullify the FCC’s rules.

The FCC’s rules are not perfect, but if Congress must act, it should act to strengthen protection for the open Internet.