By Rosa Mendoza, President and CEO, ALLvanza

One of the beauties of our nation is our freedom; freedom to speak, to learn, to work, to earn. Each of those freedoms relies heavily on the Internet, and I would further posit a free and open Internet. In order to have the freedom to speak, lawful Internet content must not be blocked or throttled in any way. In order to learn, broadband providers must be transparent about the way their networks operate and the methodology behind deployments so that everyone in the U.S. has equal access to necessary resources. Furthermore, transparency in deployment, hiring, and network operation metrics, among other examples, ensure that companies are not able to engage in redlining or other discriminatory practices. To be able to work and earn equally, the Internet must be free and open to all stakeholders and users and not only tailored to those with enough money for pay for priority.  

Unfortunately, the net neutrality debate has become embroiled in partisanship, not allowing policy makers to work together and come up with a permanent bipartisan, pro-consumer solution that protects consumers while at the same time creating a favorable environment for investment and broadband deployment. However, at a recent Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Hearing regarding a review of statements in favor of a legislative solution for net neutrality, several members of Congress expressed a willingness to work across the aisle. Furthermore, based on statements made, it seemed that multiple members, democrats and republicans, agree more than disagree on key components of a legislative net neutrality solution. This is encouraging to hear since we know that the only way that everyone will benefit is with a bipartisan solution.  

Given this possible desire within Congress for consensus and what is at stake, it is crucial that policy makers work together in a bipartisan way to enact modern, smart policies that evolve with the ever-changing Internet environment and that fully protect consumers and keep the Internet ecosystem free of negative activities that hinder our Internet freedom. The current pattern of major net neutrality policy changes that happen every time there is an administration, and/or change in congress’ composition, can be detrimental to a safe and stable environment that is good for consumers as well as investment. 

Advocating for an open Internet a big part of ALLvanza’s mission. We advocate for modern, smart, strongly pro-consumer and pro-innovation policies to be enacted and take decisive action to work with policy makers to help guide the conversation to ensure our country’s most vulnerable communities are able to safely and reliably participate and take full advantage of online resources. Policies must be modern and smart because of the ever-evolving nature of the Internet ecosystem. Our connected world has changed so much in the past few years, and does so virtually on a daily basis, and we must continue to think critically and analytically about how the laws we pass, or don’t pass, will impact vulnerable communities such as Latinx, veteran and women, among others. 

Our Internet ecosystem is ready for a comprehensive, pro-consumer, pro-innovation permanent legislative solution for net neutrality. ALLvanza urges Congress to work together in a bipartisan way to reach this solution for the good of all Internet users living in the U.S. The solution should be bipartisan, newly developed and not a reliance on outdated regulatory policy such as Title II, which has become politically charged and continuing to pursue it as a viable solution would likely be a waste of effort. ALLvanza hopes to be a part of these discussions to be the advocate of underserved communities and is ready to work with and advise policy makers, members of the FCC, and others on how to enact smart policies that address key net neutrality issues and collaborate on how to address future issues we have yet to face.