FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
PIRATE PARTY CALLS FOR NETWORK NEUTRALITY IN RESPONSE TO COURT RULING
New York, NY – January 14, 2014 – The Pirate Party deplores the decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to strike down the Federal Communications Commission’s network neutrality regulations on wireline broadband services.
In its ruling against the FCC’s Open Internet Order (OIO), the court said “…consumers, of course, have options; they can go to another broadband provider if they want to reach particular edge providers, or if their connections to particular edge providers have been degraded,” edge providers meaning companies and services like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. Citing Google Fiber’s entrance into Internet sevice provider market as evidence that the market for ISPs is growing, the court failed to realize that Google’s new service is only available in 3 metropolitan markets in the US, with minimal plans to expand service.
“The court’s decision rests on the false assumption that US citizens can choose from a variety of Internet Service Providers in their area. The reality is that 42.9% of U.S. households have access to two or fewer wired ISPs,” said Lindsay-Anne Brunner, Chairperson of the United States Pirate Party.
David Kay Johnston, noted tax policy reporter, points out that the telecom companies have been allowed to collect $500 billion over the last 20 years in order to bring American networks into the 21st century. Yet for most Americans, the telecom companies haven’t delivered and US consumers pay four times what the French do, and for fewer services. The lack of competition in our telecom markets is the root cause of this discrepancy.
“AT&T Wireless’ plans to charge companies for the right to send video to their customers without chewing up their caps is what happens when telecos can ignore network neutrality. The court’s decision will mean more profits for telecos and higher prices and worse quality for US residents,” said James O’Keefe, Chairman of the Massachusetts Pirate Party.
We strongly urge Congress to rectify the lack of competition among ISPs and ensure that network neutrality is the law of the land. If they fail to do so, the Pirate Party is prepared and eager to elect people who will.
The Pirate Party is only political party in the United States to make defending the Internet as an open resource for all one of its major objectives.