AUGUSTA – Attorney General Janet Mills is calling on the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to maintain important consumer protections for internet service customers and an open internet by rejecting proposed rules. The FCC is considering rules that would 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.
“We access information, entertainment, educational opportunities, do our banking and shopping all online,” said Attorney General Mills. “We can’t allow some information or some sites to be available on one network to one customer, but not another. ‘Net neutrality,’ the idea that we can all access the same parts of the web and use any application, without interference from a provider, is critical to the free exchange of ideas so important to our society. The FCC needs to reject these proposed rules, in favor of free speech for all Americans.”
The comments submitted by the attorneys general state: “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.”
Attorney General Mills, along with 13 other attorneys general, submitted these comments to the FCC in opposition to the Notice of Proposed Rule Making.