WASHINTON, D.C. May 18, 2017 – Senator Kamala D. Harris released the following statement in response to the vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to initially approve the advancement of a plan to repeal net neutrality.

“An open internet is essential to the success of our economy and serves as the world’s marketplace of ideas. In 2015, after a decade of deliberation and input from millions of Americans, the FCC adopted commonsense rules to protect the internet’s openness. Those net neutrality rules guarantee that gatekeepers to the internet cannot tilt the competitive playing field.

“Earlier today, Republicans on the FCC initiated a regulatory assault on those safeguards. As Attorney General of California, I was responsible for assessing the state’s law enforcement authority and I reviewed the relevant law. My assessment is that today’s proposal would effectively eliminate the FCC’s ability to enforce net neutrality.

“Nearly fifty years ago, California researchers embarked on a bold experiment to devise an interoperable computer network. Today, that network is the internet. It is an engine of unprecedented innovation and creativity, in California and throughout the world.

“The genius of the internet is that it enables entrepreneurship on a level playing field. That openness is particularly important for historically disadvantaged communities. On the internet, anyone can become an overnight sensation based on the quality of their work, regardless of their gender, the color of their skin, who they love, or where they were born.

“As a Senator, I will fight to protect the net neutrality rules. I intend to submit my comments to the FCC urging that it retain the net neutrality rules. I urge all Americans to add their voices to this important conversation.”