Sullivan Votes Against Repeal of FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order

 WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) released the following statement today after voting against S.J. Res. 52, a Congressional Review Act resolution which would repeal the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order.

“I have consistently stated to Alaskans that I strongly support preserving a free and open internet – and believe that keeping the internet affordable and accessible to all consumers is an essential principle in internet governance. And because there have been recent dramatic swings from the FCC on the issue, it is critical we develop a bipartisan legislative solution,” said Senator Sullivan. “S.J. Res. 52 would re-impose regulatory burdens on Alaska’s small, rural telecommunications companies, increase regulatory uncertainty and decrease much needed investment in broadband infrastructure – particularly in rural Alaska – which is already lagging behind the rest of the country. It is estimated that the 2015 FCC Order prevented improvement and expansion of services to the 39 million Americans living in rural areas across our country.

“For the past three years, I have been focused on promoting policies that expand broadband investment, deployment, and accessibility for all Alaskans. S.J. Res. 52 would undermine these important objectives for Alaska, which is why I voted against it. Ultimately, today’s vote was more political theater than a serious attempt at a bipartisan solution. Going forward, I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues on a real bipartisan legislative solution that prohibits blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of internet traffic while also encouraging innovation, promoting competition, helping spur rural broadband investment and deployment, and preserving and protecting the open internet.”


  • Democrats have claimed without restoring the Obama-era regulations, internet speeds will dramatically slow down. This sweeping claim has already been slammed as false by a recent Washington Post fact checker.
  • Today’s vote is consistent with positions taken by Senator Sullivan in the past:
    • Senator Sullivan Statement (December 14, 2017) on FCC’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” – “Now that the FCC has made its determination, I support efforts by Chairman Thune and members of the Senate Commerce Committee to pursue bipartisan legislation to ensure net neutrality principals – including protections against discriminatory practices – are codified into law. The FCC’s actions, which appropriately return regulatory authority of the Internet back to the Federal Trade Commission, represent what I believe to be a respect for the rule of law and an understanding that the FCC is authorized to act only within the bounds of the laws passed by Congress. For decades, the Internet grew and thrived, and access increased for tens of millions of Americans under a ‘light touch’ regulatory framework that had strong bipartisan support. As we move forward, I am committed to working in that same manner to ensure the Internet can remain fair, open, and accessible – and expansion can continue across rural Alaska – while still allowing for robust innovation.”
    • Statement to Media (November 22, 2017) on Net Neutrality – “Senator Sullivan strongly supports preserving a free and open Internet, and believes that consumers should be protected against discriminatory practices such as blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. The 2015 Open Internet Order, however, used Title II authority to subject Internet Service Providers or ISPs to an 80-year-old regulatory scheme designed to regulate telephones. Additionally, this was done as a result of the previous Administration exceeding its authority by encouraging an independent agency, the FCC, to perform a specific action. Senator Sullivan believes keeping the Internet affordable and accessible to all consumers is an essential principle in Internet governance and will continue to work with Chairman Pai, Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson in his role on the Senate Commerce Committee to ensure a free and open Internet.”
    • Senator Sullivan Statement on Facebook on FCC Net Neutrality Order (February 26, 2015) –  Net Neutrality is another outrageous power-grab by the president, one that will stifle innovation and competition, and lead to more costly service for the consumer. As FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai recently put it: “President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet… It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works.” That's terrifying. I’ll work hard with my colleagues on the Commerce Committee to ensure that that the internet remains free from stifling government overregulation.