SJR 12: Urging the United States Congress to overturn the Federal Communication Commission's order ending net neutrality.
00 SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 12 01 Urging the United States Congress to overturn the Federal Communication 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 (FCC) adopted, by a vote of three to two, an order to reverse the regulations that established 06 the federal government's broadband policy of net neutrality and to preempt states from 07 imposing net neutrality rules or regulations on Internet service providers; and 08 WHEREAS the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 8) grants to the United States 09 Congress the authority to overturn the FCC's order and reinstate net neutrality with a simple 10 majority vote of each house, by enacting a joint resolution of disapproval introduced not later 11 than 60 legislative days after the FCC submits the new rules to the United States Congress; 12 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 15 equally, regardless of content, source, or business relationship with the Internet service 16 provider or others; and
01 WHEREAS, without net neutrality, Internet service providers can lawfully charge 02 customers higher rates to access certain Internet websites, download music, and watch videos, 03 and, under the new FCC order, an Internet service provider may slow down or block access to 04 Internet websites altogether including the Internet websites of its competitors; and 05 WHEREAS the reversal of net neutrality regulations harms small businesses, start up 06 companies, and entrepreneurs who rely on a free and open Internet to conduct business, 07 flourish, and grow; and 08 WHEREAS, with its action to reverse net neutrality regulations, the FCC has 09 knowingly invited anti-consumer practices and set up an unfair pay-to-play system that may 10 financially reward Internet service providers that discriminate; and 11 WHEREAS first amendment rights of free speech, free press, and free association are 12 placed at grave risk without a net neutral environment that enables the open flow of citizens' 13 thoughts, ideas, and concerns, and ensures that information relied on to form opinions is 14 openly accessible; and 15 WHEREAS, a University of Maryland School of Public Policy poll conducted in 16 early December 2017 found that 83 percent of Americans, including 75 percent of 17 Republicans and 89 percent of Democrats, oppose FCC action to reverse net neutrality 18 regulations; and 19 WHEREAS the FCC's public process surrounding its reversal of net neutrality was 20 unacceptably flawed, in that, of the over 21,000,000 comments received, up to 2,000,000 21 were linked to stolen identities; nearly 500,000 were likely generated from Russian electronic 22 mail addresses; 94 percent were apparently submitted multiple times; 57 percent came from 23 duplicate or temporary addresses; in nine separate occurrences, 75,000 identical or similar 24 comments were posted in the same second; and the top seven comments made up 38 percent 25 of the submissions; and 26 WHEREAS Alaska's climate and isolation from the lower 48 states require residents 27 of the state to rely heavily on the Internet to connect with each other and to the rest of the 28 country and the world to keep in touch with family and for work and education purposes; and 29 WHEREAS Alaska's remote communities--many of which already struggle to obtain 30 stable, affordable Internet access--appreciate and rely on the principles of net neutrality to 31 maintain connectivity to Alaska's urban hubs and beyond; and
01 WHEREAS, in light of the nature of the challenges residents of the state face without 02 a guarantee of net neutrality, Governor Bill Walker and Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth 03 wrote to the FCC on December 13, 2017, requesting the agency to delay its vote on the 04 proposal rolling back net neutrality regulations until the integrity of the public process had 05 been adequately investigated; and 06 WHEREAS many technology companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, 07 Netflix, and Facebook, oppose the FCC's net neutrality order because the companies 08 recognize net neutrality is necessary to ensure a level Internet playing field for their 09 customers; and 10 WHEREAS a diverse group of consumer, media, technology, library, arts, civil 11 liberties, and civil rights organizations, including the American Library Association, the 12 Association of College and Research Libraries, the Disability Rights Education and Defense 13 Fund, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the 14 National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients, and the National 15 Organization for Women, oppose the FCC's reversal of net neutrality regulations; 16 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports a free and open 17 Internet that is equally accessible to all consumers; and be it 18 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States 19 Congress to exercise its authority under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the Federal 20 Communication Commission's regulatory decision to end net neutrality protections. 21 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Donald J. Trump, President 22 of the United States; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. 23 Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska 24 delegation in Congress; all other members of the 115th United States Congress; and the 25 presiding officers of the legislatures of each of the other 49 states.