FCC Votes To Seek Comment On New Open Internet Rules

BY Heather Greenfield
May 15, 2014

Washington – The FCC is now seeking public comment on what rules should be developed to protect the Open Internet. At the meeting today staff noted that all protection has lapsed since a court ruling overturning the 2010 Open Internet Rule.

FCC Chairman Wheeler said “nothing in this Open Internet proposal authorizes paid prioritization” of online services or content and he emphasized his support for “one open Internet for both consumers and economic growth.”

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has been an advocate for competition in the telecommunications and cable markets for decades and for the FCC using its authority protect the open Internet, especially when there is a lack of competition. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“We appreciate that the Commission has kept an open mind about the best way forward in terms of a legal framework for guarding Internet openness.  Wheeler called the Internet a national asset that he will not allow to be compromised. We hope that strong verbal commitment indicates the FCC is ready to in good faith explore all its options including its authority under Title II of the Communications Act to protect the Open Internet.

“We agree with Commissioner Rosenworcel that the Internet is indeed ‘the future of everything’ and we can’t weaken the openness upon which this valuable communications and economic platform rests. But to accomplish what so many agree must be accomplished we need a clear, unambiguous final rule that does not rely on enforcement based on the discretion and enthusiasm of whatever commissioners are serving now or in the future.”

The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President Cathy Sloan:

“It is encouraging that the FCC, as the expert agency charged by Congress with ensuring all Americans’ access to advanced telecommunications services has launched this proceeding to take public input on how best to safeguard the quality and openness of everybody’s access to the Internet.   After two previous FCC attempts to establish open Internet protection failed in court when challenged by Internet access providers, this FCC has wisely asked for input on the best legal framework for protecting the open Internet.”

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