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Mayor Lee Joins Day Of Action To Protect An Open Internet

San Francisco joins cities, industry leaders, and advocacy groups in opposition of Federal Communications Commission repeal of net neutrality 

San Francisco, CA – Mayor Edwin M. Lee joined a nationwide day of action today to protect net neutrality and ensure that the internet remains open and accessible for all.

“The internet is no longer a luxury for the select few,” said Mayor Lee. “It is an essential tool for communication, education and community-building, and plays a vital role in the democracy of this country. The FCC is threatening to eliminate net neutrality rules that protect the democratic principles of the internet. It is critical that cities from across the country fight back against this action and stand up for an equitable, open internet.”

Along with the mayors from New York City, Seattle, Boston, Washington, D.C. and other cities, Mayor Lee submitted a signed letter urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to maintain rules against internet blocking, prioritization and other discriminatory practices. The letter also urged the FCC to enforce openness, equity and nondiscrimination in internet service freedom and allow innovation to drive the future American economy.

The letter, addressed to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, reinforces the nondiscrimination principles first called for in a 2014 U.S. Conference of Mayors resolution sponsored by Mayor Lee:

·      Commitment to transparency;
·      The free flow of information over the internet;
·      No blocking of lawful websites;
·      No reasonable discrimination of unlawful network traffic; and
·      No paid prioritization

In addition to posting a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, San Francisco will join notable websites, companies and organizations to organize action and encourage public comments against the FCC efforts to repeal net neutrality. The City will place a banner at sfgov.org, directing visitors to the FCC’s net neutrality comment page. The banner will also be placed on Mayor Lee’s website, www.sfmayor.org, datasf.org, the Mayor’s open date website, and innovatesf.com, the home page of the Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation. The first comment deadline to the FCC is July 17, 2017.

The FCC’s 2015 Order Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet under then-Chair Tom Wheeler reclassified internet service as a telecommunication service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. The move came after a lengthy legal and regulatory process during which nearly four million people submitted comments, mostly in favor of strong open internet protections under Title II.

“Net neutrality is a cornerstone of equity, opportunity and communication,” says New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Transparent and open internet is a fundamental right of every citizen, and overturning net neutrality policies would be an affront to our democracy. Today I stand with other mayors against the repeal of those rules.”

“A free, open internet is vital to residents and businesses throughout Boston,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. “Net neutrality is one tool we have to create an equal playing field for all, and I stand with mayors throughout the U.S. to support an open internet.” 

“Individuals should be free to access the Internet without discriminatory practices applied to services and websites,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “I encourage everyone to speak up and let the FCC know these rules should be kept in place. This is about equity and the ability for everyone to access the internet.”