Senator Lesser Attends First Net Neutrality Committee Hearing, Questions AG and Other Witnesses

Committee formed in response to FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality rules

BOSTON — Senator Eric P. Lesser attended the first hearing of the State Senate’s Special Committee on Net Neutrality on Tuesday to hear about the state’s options to ensure statewide access to the Internet without allowing providers to change Internet speeds according to pricing tiers.

Attorney General Maura Healey, whose office has begun a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission for revoking Net Neutrality rules implemented by the Obama Administration, was one of the witnesses who testified at the hearing.

Lesser asked Healey whether legal challenges would arise if the Legislature passed legislation while the state’s lawsuit is still pending. Healey said there would not be.

Lesser also pressed one witness on the question of states’ rights and the Bay State’s responsibility to protect its consumers when the federal government fails to do so.

“Net Neutrality is about protecting the Internet access Americans have always enjoyed. No company should be able to slow your data speeds on a whim. We must do all we can at the state level to protect users’ access to the Internet,” Lesser said.

Lesser was appointed to the committee, led by Sen. Cynthia Creem, at the time of its creation in January. The committee was formed with the task of developing legislation in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to repeal net neutrality rules.

“I’m grateful to have a seat on this committee and to help craft our response to the Trump Administration’s dangerous removal of Net Neutrality rules,” Lesser said at the time of his appointment.

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and Sens. Michael Barrett, Jamie Eldridge, Barbara L’Italien and Patrick O’Connor were also appointed to the special committee. Tarr serves as vice chair.

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