The Computer & Communications Industry Association is asking the FCC to close some loopholes and strengthen its latest net neutrality plan ahead of a scheduled vote Tuesday.

In addition to meeting with FCC members, CCIA also wrote an editorial published in the San Francisco Chronicle Friday.

The following statements as well as the complete op ed can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“In nearly four decades of advocating for open markets, competition and the free flow of information, our tech trade association has not seen an equivalent issue as critical to our economy and democracy as Open Internet access.

“At the center of any democracy is the free flow of information – it’s how voters access and weigh ideas to make decisions. And at the core of a thriving, innovative economy is the ability of a good business idea to make it from the garage or dorm room to the marketplace. Allowing dominant companies to serve as gatekeepers of information and ideas harms our economy – and our democracy.

“CCIA has long opposed overly broad government regulations, but rules are needed here to preserve the public interest in open Internet access. Internet access is too critical for any government entity or major private company to regulate the Internet itself.

“If the FCC fails to keep Internet content neutral, the dominant phone and cable companies will maintain the incentive and leverage to prioritize content and users however they want. This would be a far more insidious form of “regulation” than any rules the FCC proposed.

“Unlike the tax battle in Congress, an Obama-appointee-led agency already has the power to take conclusive action. Given that the FCC is charged with protecting the public interest, the FCC’s plan must be improved in three critical ways:

  • define broadband Internet access to cover all Internet subscribers,
  • ensure parity for mobile broadband Internet access,
  • ban paid prioritization for certain traffic based on source or destination, for example, ban AT&T or Verizon from charging a content provider such as ABC or Fox extra for assurance that their customers can reach them.
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