Speaking before the U.S. Congress, Mozilla Chief Operating Officer Denelle Dixon urged legislators to undo the Federal Communication Commission’s decision to repeal net neutrality protections. “We need to protect net neutrality,” Dixon said in oral testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology on Thursday, February 7, noting that the internet “needs to be treated as a public resource that is open and accessible to all.”
Beyond public safety, legislators also touched on a recent study that found many internet providers throttling bandwidth-heavy streaming services, like YouTube and Netflix. Dixon argued that without net neutrality protections, small businesses would be hurt by dominant industry players and competition would be stifled.
“We need an internet where small businesses can flourish by delivering what users want, finding the gaps and opportunities not being served by the market today,” Dixon said. “I am certain that Mozilla would not be here today without net neutrality. And if you look around the tech industry, you hear the same origin story, time and time again”
Dixon’s and Mozilla’s solution is to restore the protections of the 2015 order through litigation. “We understand the value of a legislative solution to provide lasting protections, but any effort must offer, at the very least, protections that are as strong as the 2015 order, with adequate and flexible authority for the FCC to enforce it,” Dixon argued. “Anything less is a disservice to consumers.”
The subcommittee’s hearing on net neutrality comes just after Motherboard reported that mobile carriers had sold location information from customers to bounty hunters and other third parties because internet privacy regulation is essentially broken.