Losing Net Neutrality will Harm Rural America, ILSR Broadband Expert featured in Bernie Sanders video

Date: 16 May 2018 | posted in: MuniNetworks, Press Release | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Video from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Details Need for Net Neutrality to Protect Rural America

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Christopher Mitchell is featured in Sen. Sander’s video in advance of Senate net neutrality vote

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. — The United States Senate is gearing up to vote on a resolution to repeal the roll back of network neutrality protections by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In advance of the vote, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s (ILSR) Community Broadband Networks initiative director Christopher Mitchell is featured in a video from Senator Bernie Sanders (I – Vt.) detailing how the FCC’s actions harm rural America, specifically.

A bipartisan group of senators join many Democratic state attorneys general, consumer advocacy groups, and tech companies in opposing the FCC’s open Internet protections repeal. In this video, however, Mitchell details why Americans in rural areas would be particularly harmed by the FCC’s action.

“We can’t expect competition in rural areas, [they] are, in many cases, only going to have one high-quality network provider,” says Mitchell. “Losing net neutrality means that the cable and telephone companies are going to be able to set up toll booths and charge more money on the networks they’ve already created.”

An analysis from ILSR in December 2017 found that 129 million Americans are limited to broadband Internet service from known net neutrality violators, an estimate that includes many in rural America. Of the monopoly power held by the largest Internet Service Providers, such as AT&T, Comcast, and CenturyLink, Mitchell argues; “They’re just basically going to be able to make more money with less investment, that’s bad for rural America. That’s bad for everyone.”

Whether or not the vote goes in favor of net neutrality advocates on the Senate floor, the FCC needs to preference local control and local investment rather than furthering monopoly power. As Mitchell concludes, “let’s make sure we have an open Internet that we can all innovate on, communicate on, make our communities strong on, and that we’re excited about the future to be on.”

If you’re interested in gaining perspective on this issue from Christopher Mitchell, please email back here or schedule an interview through Nick Stumo-Langer at 612-844-1330.


About Christopher Mitchell:
Christopher Mitchell is the Director of the Community Broadband Networks initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Mitchell leads the acclaimed MuniNetworks.org as part of ILSR’s effort to ensure broadband networks are directly accountable to the communities that depend upon them. He is a leading national expert on community networks, advising high-ranking broadband decision-makers and speaking on radio and television programs across the United States.

FOR MORE INFORMATION and to schedule an interview with Christopher, call Nick Stumo-Langer at 612-844-1330 or email stumolanger@ilsr.org.

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Nick Stumo-Langer

Nick Stumo-Langer was Communications Manager at ILSR working for all five initiatives. He ran ILSR's Facebook and Twitter profiles and builds relationships with reporters. He is an alumnus of St. Olaf College and animated by the concerns of monopoly power across our economy.