FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel
Statement of Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel in Response to FCC's Inspector General Report Finding No Distributed Denial of Service Attack During Net Neutrality Proceeding
The Inspector General Report tells us what we knew all along: the FCC’s claim that it was the victim of a DDoS attack during the net neutrality proceeding is bogus. What happened instead is obvious—millions of Americans overwhelmed our online system because they wanted to tell us how important internet openness is to them and how distressed they were to see the FCC roll back their rights. It’s unfortunate that this agency’s energy and resources needed to be spent debunking this implausible claim.
With too many students in too many places falling into the homework gap, we need to upgrade the E-Rate program by extending the school classroom to the school bus. This would ensure that school districts are reimbursed by the program when they add this technology to their transportation. To drive this change, proposals have been introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives. They deserve serious consideration.
[This] announcement is welcome. As I have noted before, too many of this agency’s media policies have been custom built to support the business plans of Sinclair Broadcasting. With this hearing designation order, the agency will finally take a hard look at its proposed merger with Tribune. This is overdue and favoritism like this needs to end. I have voted to approve.
Right now, policymakers across the country are focused on strengthening American infrastructure. That effort includes roads, bridges, and broadband networks that support 5G wireless services. That’s vital—because to be first to a 5G future, we need to focus as much on the ground as on the skies. But figuring out how to deploy 5G infrastructure—which puts a premium on small cells—is a big task. It means acknowledging that we have a legal tradition of local control in this country but also recognizing that more streamlined and uniform practices can help speed deployment.
[Commentary] As we get deeper into hurricane season, Washington should be doing what it can to keep [the Lifeline program] in place. When people on the island prepare for this year’s storms and amass their 10 days of supplies, they should have the comfort of knowing that the Federal Communications Commission is not undermining the program they use to stay connected. But that’s not what’s happening. Instead, the agency has announced plans to gut the Lifeline program by as much as 70 percent of participants. To justify such a drastic cut, the FCC says it wants to prevent program waste.
Nationwide, nearly two in five homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. That adds up to 650,000 young people on our streets who face special risk of bullying, discrimination, and assault. To stay safe, they rely on something simple — a wireless phone. Many homeless LGBT young people are eligible for a program that helps them get wirelessly connected. It’s called Lifeline. For decades, Lifeline has been run by the Federal Communications Commission.
[June 11], the Federal Communications Commission’s misguided repeal of network neutrality goes into effect. This is bad news for all of us who rely on an open internet for so many facets of civic and commercial life. Internet service providers now have the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content. They will have the right to discriminate and favor the internet traffic of those companies with whom they have pay-for-play arrangements and the right to consign all others to a slow and bumpy road.
I want to harness your energies this morning to talk about three things we can work on together. First, broadband deployment and the infrastructure challenge it presents for cities. Second, broadband adoption and the challenge it presents for students stuck in what I call the Homework Gap. And third and finally, an update on net neutrality.
When the National Network to End Domestic Violence polled nearly 300 domestic violence prevention programs, it found that 77 percent of domestic violence prevention programs distributed phones. These phones included devices from a program run by the Federal Communications Commission: Lifeline. But the FCC has proposed dramatically cutting the Lifeline program. It has announced plans to gut the service for 70 percent of current users. To justify these cuts, the agency says that because some phone companies abused the program by enrolling ineligible consumers, the program doesn’t work.
[Press release] Today, the FCC gave notice that net neutrality protections will be taken off the books on June 11. This is profoundly disappointing. The agency failed to listen to the American public and gave short shrift to their deeply held belief that internet openness should remain the law of the land. The agency turned a blind eye to serious problems in its process—from Russian intervention to fake comments to stolen identities in its files. The FCC is on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American people.