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WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that he will base new Net Neutrality rules on Title II of the Communications Act. In a blog post for Wired, Wheeler said that he will submit to his fellow commissioners “the strongest open Internet protections ever proposed by the FCC.” Wheeler’s rules, which the FCC is expected to vote on at its Feb. 26 meeting, will ban throttling, blocking and paid prioritization.

Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood had the following statement:

“Chairman Wheeler’s announcement today is the culmination of a decade of dedicated grassroots organizing and advocacy. We’re now one step closer to restoring real public interest protections to our nation’s communications policies. If the full FCC adopts the chairman’s proposal, and it’s free of any last-minute surprises, then everyone’s right to communicate freely online will be secured. We commend Chairman Wheeler’s actions and his willingness to listen to the facts in the face of a fiercely dishonest industry lobbying effort.  

“As the chairman noted today, reclassification is not a radical move. In 1996, an overwhelmingly bipartisan Congress decided that high-speed data-transmission networks are essential to the nation’s economic and social progress, and must be operated in a nondiscriminatory manner. The FCC’s pending action is nothing more than the agency properly enforcing the law, reversing the mistakes that began with former FCC Chairman Michael Powell, now the cable industry’s top lobbyist.

“There’s no doubt that the cable and telecom monopolies and their hired guns will ramp up their lies in an attempt to thwart the FCC’s common-sense action. The FCC should ignore industry’s cynical efforts. The agency is not only doing what the law requires, but what the people need. Restoration of Title II is the only way to preserve Net Neutrality and protect everyone’s rights to access affordable, competitive and secure communications networks.”

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