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WASHINGTON -- In response to a speech by Verizon executive Tom Tauke, Free Press Executive Director Josh Silver made the following statement:

“Verizon wants to undermine the Federal Communications Commission's authority to protect consumers and promote competition in the broadband marketplace. The simple fact is, Congress in the 1996 Telecommunications Act anticipated a converged marketplace and gave the FCC ample oversight authority.

"Companies like Verizon litigated and pressured the FCC to take extraordinary deregulatory actions that have now placed this authority in jeopardy. We have full confidence that the FCC can clarify its authority to protect consumers and promote competition.

"Tauke’s speech illustrates the incumbents' desire for a toothless, do-nothing agency. After eight years of deregulation, consumers have been left with higher prices, lower speeds and ever-dwindling choices. The last thing this country needs is another law written by special interests for their own benefit."

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