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Sense. Cruz, Thune and Colleagues Urge USDA to Reconsider Its Decision to Include So-called “Net Neutrality” Commitments in the ReConnect Program

WASHINGTON, DC – US Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Thune (RS.D.), members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, today sent a letter with several of their fellow Republicans to the US Department of Le Agriculture Secretary (USDA) Tom Vilsack urged the agency to avoid imposing unnecessary “net neutrality” restrictions on broadband providers, which would threaten future investments in broadband infrastructure. The co-signers of the letter are Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va.), Deb Fischer (R -Neb.), Ron Johnson (R -Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ala.), And Todd Young (R-Ind.).

In the letter, the senators wrote:

“It is deeply troubling that the USDA suggests that it has the power let alone the qualified personnel and expertise to make decisions regarding ‘lawful Internet traffic’. If the USDA decided to attempt to regulate the Internet in the absence of congressional authority, it would lead to enormous legal and market uncertainty.

“Rather than trying to impose monopoly-era regulations on broadband providers and politicize the ReConnect program, we urge you to reconsider your decision to provide additional rating points based on the USDA determination of what constitutes “net neutrality”.

Read the full text of the letter here and below.

The Honorable Tom Vilsack Secretary

US Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Avenue, southwest

Washington, DC 20250

Dear Secretary Vilsack,

We write today about our concerns about the rating criteria for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Electronic Connectivity Pilot (ReConnect) program, which includes so-called “net neutrality” commitments. .

Building broadband infrastructure, including in some of this country’s most remote and rural areas, has transformed our country’s economy and opened up new opportunities for many Americans. Investment in broadband infrastructure by large and small providers remains at an all time high due to the lean regulatory approach taken by the federal government.

As you know, “net neutrality” restrictions have been the subject of much debate in Congress and the Federal Communications Commission, the agency that oversees our country’s telecommunications policy. Any effort to impose unnecessary “net neutrality” restrictions would be dangerous for our country’s vibrant broadband economy and threaten future investments in broadband infrastructure.

Further, it is deeply troubling that the USDA suggests that it has much less authority than qualified personnel and expertise to make decisions regarding “lawful Internet traffic”. If the USDA decided to attempt to regulate the Internet in the absence of congressional authority, it would lead to enormous legal and market uncertainty.

Rather than trying to impose monopoly-era regulations on broadband providers and politicize the ReConnect program, we urge you to reconsider your decision to provide additional rating points based on USDA determination of what constitutes “net neutrality”.

Truly,

/ s /

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Tags : federal governmentunited states
Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion