On November 3, Mayor Tim Burgess joined more than 200 mayors and county leaders across the country in signing a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai expressing their concern about the FCC’s lack of transparency and the inadequate level of local government representation on the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC).
The BDAC is conducting important proceedings about the regulations covering wireline and wireless broadband infrastructure deployment that could result in adverse consequences to Seattle and other local communities. Elected officials on the letter believe more must be done to create the proper balance between the business needs of the communications industry and the legitimate interests of local governments. To read more about their concerns, and the letter, visit the National Association of Counties.
Today, the City of Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller condemned the proposal by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to repeal net neutrality rules. Mattmiller encourages FCC commissioners to vote against this proposal and keep the internet open and fair for all to use.
“The fight for strong net neutrality protections is important for the internet to remain a space for creativity, innovation and free speech,” said Mattmiller. “Net neutrality is necessary to protect Seattle’s consumers and ensure all internet content is equally accessible.”
Current FCC net neutrality regulations forbids carriers from slowing down internet speed and content delivery. Pai, whom President Donald Trump appointed to lead the FCC in January 2017, believes the Obama era regulations prohibit the industry from expanding and investing in other networks.
In February 2015, under President Barack Obama, the FCC ruled in favor of net neutrality by reclassifying broadband as a common carrier under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Those rules went into effect in June of 2015.
“A fair and open internet is vital to everyday life in our communities, not only in Seattle but across the country,” said Jim Loter, Director of Digital Engagement for Seattle Information Technology. “It is also critical for ending the digital divide and ensuring all Seattle residents have access to the tools to be successful.”
The City of Seattle was one of 50 cities that participated in the Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality this past summer. More than 5-million people commented on the possibility to end net neutrality on the FCC’s website. To learn more about Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality, visit www.seattle.gov/netneutrality.