Thursday, January 18, 2018

Special Senate Committee on Net Neutrality and Consumer Protection

(Boston- Jan. 18, 2018) The State Senate announced today that The Special Committee on Net Neutrality and Consumer Protection has been formed to coordinate a policy in response to the federal government’s decision to repeal rules on net neutrality. The elimination of these regulatory safeguards removes important consumer protections for all internet users. The special committee was created by a senate order sponsored by Senator Cynthia Creem (D-Newton) and co-sponsored by Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester).  


The Committee will be chaired by Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (D-Newton), with Senator Bruce E. Tarr (R-Gloucester) serving as Vice Chair, and Senators Mike Barrett (D- Lexington), Jamie Eldridge (D- Acton), Eric Lesser (D- E. Longmeadow), Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover) and Patrick O’Connor (R- Weymouth) as members.


“This special committee will give the Senate a chance to learn about the difficulties our constituents and businesses may face with the federal government’s wrongheaded net neutrality repeal,” said Senate President Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “It is my hope that we can respond to the federal government in a way that best serves the residents of the Commonwealth.”


“This committee will identify and address concerns about the repeal of federal net neutrality regulations,” said Senator Creem.  “We are particularly mindful that the free flow of information is fundamental to a 21st century competitive marketplace and to a vibrant democracy.”


“Fair and effective internet access is critically important, and we need to carefully consider how to best protect that access,” said Senator Tarr. “This committee will develop valuable insight to guide the actions of the Senate, and its establishment demonstrates our commitment to addressing the issue of internet access.”


A Committee hearing will be held on February 6, at 11 am, in Room 437 of the State House, with testimony by invitation only. Invitees will include the Attorney General and other government officials, consumer advocacy groups and industry representatives.


The senate order (S.2263) can be found here: