HJR 31: Urging the United States Congress to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's order ending net neutrality.
00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 31 01 Urging the United States Congress to overturn the Federal Communications 02 Commission's order ending net neutrality. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS, on December 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission 05 adopted, by a vote of three to two, an order to reverse the regulations that established the 06 federal government's broadband policy of net neutrality and to preempt states from imposing 07 net neutrality rules or regulations on Internet service providers; and 08 WHEREAS 5 U.S.C. 801 - 808 (Congressional Review Act) grants to the United 09 States Congress the authority to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's order 10 and reinstate net neutrality with a simple majority vote of each house, by enacting a joint 11 resolution of disapproval introduced not later than 60 legislative days after the Federal 12 Communications Commission submits the new rules to the United States Congress; and 13 WHEREAS net neutrality protects an individual's ability to access and transmit 14 information on the Internet by requiring Internet service providers to treat all Internet websites
01 equally, regardless of content, source, or business relationship with the Internet service 02 provider or others; and 03 WHEREAS, without net neutrality, Internet service providers can lawfully charge 04 customers higher rates to access certain Internet websites, download music, and watch videos, 05 and, under the Federal Communications Commission's new order, an Internet service provider 06 may slow down or block access to Internet websites altogether including the Internet websites 07 of its competitors; and 08 WHEREAS the reversal of net neutrality regulations harms small businesses, start up 09 companies, and entrepreneurs who rely on a free and open Internet to conduct business, 10 flourish, and grow; and 11 WHEREAS, with its action to reverse net neutrality regulations, the Federal 12 Communications Commission has knowingly invited anti-consumer practices and set up an 13 unfair pay-to-play system that may financially reward Internet service providers that 14 discriminate; and 15 WHEREAS first amendment rights of free speech, free press, and free association are 16 placed at grave risk without a net neutral environment that enables the open flow of citizens' 17 thoughts, ideas, and concerns, and ensures that information relied on to form opinions is 18 openly accessible; and 19 WHEREAS a University of Maryland School of Public Policy poll conducted in early 20 December 2017 found that 83 percent of Americans, including 75 percent of Republicans and 21 89 percent of Democrats, oppose the Federal Communications Commission's action to reverse 22 net neutrality regulations; and 23 WHEREAS the Federal Communications Commission's public process surrounding 24 its reversal of net neutrality was unacceptably flawed, in that, of the over 21,000,000 25 comments received, up to 2,000,000 were linked to stolen identities; nearly 500,000 were 26 likely generated from Russian electronic mail addresses; 94 percent were apparently 27 submitted multiple times; 57 percent came from duplicate or temporary addresses; in nine 28 separate occurrences, 75,000 identical or similar comments were posted in the same second; 29 and the top seven comments made up 38 percent of the submissions; and 30 WHEREAS Alaska's climate and isolation from the contiguous 48 states require 31 residents of the state to rely heavily on the Internet to connect with each other and to the rest
01 of the country and the world to keep in touch with family and for work and education 02 purposes; and 03 WHEREAS Alaska's remote communities--many of which already struggle to obtain 04 stable, affordable Internet access--appreciate and rely on the principles of net neutrality to 05 maintain connectivity to Alaska's urban hubs and beyond; and 06 WHEREAS, in light of the nature of the challenges residents of the state face without 07 a guarantee of net neutrality, Governor Bill Walker and Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth 08 wrote to the Federal Communications Commission on December 13, 2017, requesting the 09 agency to delay its vote on the proposal rolling back net neutrality regulations until the 10 integrity of the public process had been adequately investigated; and 11 WHEREAS many technology companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, 12 Netflix, and Facebook, oppose the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality 13 order because the companies recognize net neutrality is necessary to ensure a level Internet 14 playing field for their customers; and 15 WHEREAS a diverse group of consumer, media, technology, library, arts, civil 16 liberties, and civil rights organizations, including the American Library Association, the 17 Association of College and Research Libraries, the Disability Rights Education and Defense 18 Fund, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the 19 National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients, and the National 20 Organization for Women, oppose the Federal Communications Commission's reversal of net 21 neutrality regulations; 22 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports a free and open 23 Internet that is equally accessible to all consumers; and be it 24 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States 25 Congress to exercise its authority under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the Federal 26 Communications Commission's regulatory decision to end net neutrality protections. 27 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Donald J. Trump, President 28 of the United States; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. 29 Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska 30 delegation in Congress; all other members of the 115th United States Congress; and the 31 presiding officers of the legislatures of each of the other 49 states.