Attorney General Janet Mills decries FCC repeal of net neutrality rules

Attorney General Janet Mills decries the proposal of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to repeal the “net neutrality” rules put in place by the Obama administration that maintain important consumer protections for Internet service customers and an open Internet.

The proposal of the FCC will allow Internet Services Providers to slow or block access to certain sites or mobile applications, upending the idea of “net neutrality” that has allowed ideas and commerce to flourish across the web.

“This proposal is terrible for consumers. Individuals and businesses use the Internet every day to do our banking, to pay our bills, to do our schoolwork, and to do our jobs,” said Attorney General Mills. “This proposal will allow service providers to limit and slow down access to information based on their values and economic interests. The idea that we should all be able to access the same parts of the web and use applications freely, without interference from a provider, is critical to the free exchange of ideas fundamental to our democracy.”

Attorney General Mills is reviewing the proposal and discussing options with other attorneys general to protect consumers’ rights.

In July Attorney General Mills, along with 12 other attorneys general, submitted comments to the FCC in opposition to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The comments submitted by the attorneys general stated: “The current Open Internet rules were based on the premise that consumers expect and deserve an open and transparent Internet and that their right to access their chosen content without interference from their service provider should be protected. The existing rules recognize that the Internet has become an essential service in our society, and that role could be compromised by allowing private companies, many of which have conflicts of interest, to dictate the terms of consumers’ access to and use of the Internet. Consumers expect transparency and fairness from their Internet service when they go online, and those expectations should be reflected in the FCC’s rules.”