***VIDEO/PHOTO RELEASE*** Menendez, NJ Entrepreneurs Make Final Push for Free, Open Internet

***VIDEO/PHOTO RELEASE*** Menendez, NJ Entrepreneurs Make Final Push for Free, Open Internet

With 50 supporters for CRA resolution, Senate will vote this week to restore net neutrality

   

KEARNY, N.J. – Days before the Senate will vote on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) to restore net neutrality, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez and local entrepreneurs called on Congress to ensure a free and open internet, which is essential to the success of small businesses and start-ups competing in the new economy.

“A free and open internet isn’t a luxury,” said Sen. Menendez.  “In the 21st century, it’s a necessity for families, for innovators, for businesses of all sizes, for our economy and for our future.  An open Internet is the great equalizer that lets the smallest of startups openly compete with the largest corporations without having to pay for priority access online.  That’s why, this week, I’ll be calling on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put small businesses and consumers first, and to vote to restore net neutrality.”

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Last week, Sen. Menendez joined all of his Democratic colleagues in officially filing a discharge petition to force a vote on a CRA resolution to put strong net neutrality rules back on the books.  Thirty Senators are needed to send the CRA to the floor for a vote and a simple majority is needed for its passage.  All 49 members of the Senate Democratic caucus support the resolution, along with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).  The deadline for a Senate vote is June 12th.

Sen. Menendez was joined by Elements Truffles co-founder Kushal Choksi, Pix-I Graphx co-owner Alcides Aguasvivas, and HotSpot Got COO Imran Ali, and other entrepreneurs whose start-ups are located at Kearny Point, a small business incubator located on a former shipbuilding site.  Last year, the senator visited Kearny Point on his 21-county Jersey Jobs Tour.

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In December 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted along party lines to repeal the Obama-era rules, which prohibited internet service providers from blocking, slowing down, or discriminating against content online.  Repealing the net neutrality rules could lead to higher prices for consumers, slower internet traffic, and even blocked websites.  A recent poll showed that 86 percent of Americans do not approve of the FCC action to repeal net neutrality rules, including 82 percent of Republicans.

The CRA has broad, national support, including from the following organizations: Demand Progress; American Civil Liberties Union; Color of Change; Center for Democracy & Technology; Consumer Federation of America; Consumers Union; Public Knowledge; Open Technology Institute; Consortium for School Networking; International Society for Technology in Education; State Educational Technology Directors Association; Independent Film & Television Alliance; Internet Association; National School Board Association; and New Jersey School Board Association.

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