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Mayors Nationwide Sign Letter Supporting Net Neutrality, But Not Mayor Faulconer

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai listens during a FC...

Photo by Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Above: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai listens during a FCC meeting to vote on net neutrality, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Washington.

Sixty-eight mayors recently signed a letter asking the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, to repeal its decision on net neutrality.

The decision would allow internet providers to favor or block content consumers are trying to access.

RELATED: The Arguments For and Against Net Neutrality

The letter asks the FCC to keep the internet "free and open."

The decision "prohibits local leaders such as ourselves from protecting our constituents, businesses, and economies from abusive service provider practices," the letter reads.

Mayors from Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and even Chula Vista signed the letter, but not San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

"The mayor typically only signs onto letters regarding issues that have a specific impact on San Diego, such as NAFTA and homelessness," said Faulconer's spokeswoman Christina Chadwick. "Although he didn’t sign on to this particular letter, Mayor Faulconer supports the principles of net neutrality."

But Neil Jadhav, the former chief data officer for the city of Carlsbad, said repealing net neutrality protections does have specific impacts on residents and businesses of cities.

"If your friend, your family, or sister or brother owns a small business, internet gives them an equal opportunity to reach out to their consumers and this takes away that opportunity," he said. "This stops innovation. Startups primarily would not be able to compete with big companies."

He added that he views net neutrality as protecting citizens' rights and that he hopes elected officials protect those rights.

"Internet is almost equal to freedom of speech," he said. "I can go online and it's my basic right today. So I think we all should have that right and we need your support as leaders of the community elected leaders and officials to support us on this."

In addition to Faulconer’s office, KPBS also reached out to Mary Salas, the mayor of Chula Vista, but her office says she was not available to talk about why she signed the letter.

The FCC's decision is set to go into effect April 23.

Sixty-eight mayors recently signed a letter asking the Federal Communications Commission to repeal its decision on net neutrality, but not San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

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Claire Trageser
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs a member of the KPBS investigative team, my job is to hold the powerful in San Diego County accountable. I've done in-depth investigations on political campaigns, police officer misconduct and neighborhood quality of life issues.

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