Chicago Attorney General Lisa Madigan today condemned the FCC Chairman's proposal to roll back existing net neutrality rules that would allow internet service providers to charge customers for accessing certain types of content over others.
Eliminating net neutrality rules could result in:
Consumers being unable or forced to pay to access certain websites;
Decreased competition as start-ups fight for access with larger, established companies; and
Telecommunications companies that also own media companies giving preferential treatment to media content they own, putting smaller content providers and their customers at a disadvantage.
"The internet must remain open and accessible to everyone," Madigan said. "Open and equal access to the internet is crucial to information sharing and competition. The FCC's proposal would allow internet service providers to pick winners and losers among content providers and their customers. I urge the FCC Commissioners to vote against this proposal."
Existing net neutrality rules prohibit internet service providers like AT&T or Comcast from discriminating among customers and content providers. They also ensure that when consumers purchase internet access, they can reach the content of their choice without interference and that any website can reach customers without having to negotiate or pay for special access.
In 2014, Madigan submitted comments to the FCC and a letter to then-Chairman Tom Wheeler urging the FCC to preserve net neutrality. In those comments, Madigan emphasized the importance of net neutrality and non-discrimination to competition and innovation on the internet.