Following is a statement by Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to eliminate protections for net neutrality.
We were dismayed that the FCC Thursday voted to eliminate protections for network neutrality, reversing their 2015 Open Internet Order. The order will go into effect in early 2018.
Rescinding net neutrality regulations will have a harmful impact on students and the higher education community that serves them.
University students, teachers, and researchers depend on the Internet for educational resources both on and off campus, student support, and innovative scientific collaboration. Universities also use Internet access to benefit the community at large through extension and outreach programs that bring cutting-edge research out of academia and into practice in community services, government, business, and industries.
The order could also harm free speech, as Internet providers could choose to block access to content their users find objectionable, including critical research on various controversial issues.
We look forward to working with Congress to find a solution which protects higher education and research.
Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities comprises 62 distinguished institutions that continually advance society through education, research, and discovery.
Our universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for academic research, are improving human life and wellbeing through research, and are educating tomorrow’s visionary leaders and global citizens.
AAU members collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of research universities to society.