TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly opposes H.R. 1644, the “Save the Internet Act.” The Chamber will consider including votes on this legislation in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
Codifying net neutrality rules into law – which the Chamber supports – does not require regulating the Internet under 1930s-era public utility laws as proposed under H.R.1644. Safeguarding a modern Internet requires modern regulations, not an approach written for the days of the rotary phone.
The partisan approach taken under H.R. 1644 is likely to have significant negative consequences. For example, in the two years that this policy was in effect under the Obama administration, broadband expenditures dropped over $3 billion annually; this lost investment could have been used to connect rural residents and other unserved communities. In addition, the significant new regulatory authority granted to the FCC under this bill could be used by future administrations to impose fees on consumers for Internet access.
Several substantive net neutrality proposals have been introduced, including H.R. 1006, H.R. 1096, and H.R. 1101. The Chamber recommends that Congress use these bills to start meaningful bipartisan work on broadband regulation.
The Chamber urges you to oppose H.R. 1644.
Suzanne P. Clark
Senior Executive Vice President
U.S. Chamber of Commerce