House Republicans have invited a group of top tech CEOs at technology and telecommunications companies to weigh in on the net neutrality debate. The invitation arrives just as the GOP attempts to repeal Obama-era rules handed down to the Federal Communications Commission.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said on Tuesday that he invited executives to testify in September. Walden issued invitations to the chief executives of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and Charter Communications.
Republicans have been attempted to issue a replacement to the FCC’s net neutrality rules, which are in the process of being repealed by the agency’s Republican leaders.
Supporters of net neutrality have argued that any such bill would unnecessarily water down current FCC protections. Under current rules, internet service providers must treat all web traffic equally.
Despite massive support for the FCC’s net neutrality rules by almost every major U.S. tech company, the Republican party has continued its outright assault on measures meant to strengthen neutrality.
“Your company has played a significant part in the public conversation to date, and your input would be invaluable as we start to move beyond conversation toward bipartisan legislation the prevents anticompetitive practices such as throttling and blocking,” Walden wrote in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
“With your help, I know we can craft a fair, predictable and sustainable solution that not only benefits Edge Providers and Internet Service Providers, but also the billions of consumers worldwide that deserve a free and open internet.”
Zuckerberg has not yet accepted the invitation.