Washington – Standing up to heavy lobbying by large Internet access providers, the FCC voted today to protect Internet access for households and small businesses. The FCC was created by Congress as an independent agency to ensure all Americans’ access to both wired and wireless communications services and this bold action finally employs its fundamental authority under Title II of the Telecommunications Act to underpin Open Internet rules, while it refrains from applying of all but a few core parts of the law.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association represents both mobile broadband companies and Internet platforms and has advocated for enforceable Open Internet access rules with a Title II foundation for nearly a decade. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“This is a historic day. These long awaited Open Internet protections are cause for celebration for all Internet users from students to businesses. When so much depends on nondiscriminatory access to the Internet, the FCC is right to impose narrow rules using strong legal grounds like it did today.
“The Internet’s tradition of open access has been the foundation of small start ups that today are household names. The action the FCC has taken will be remembered for decades to come as the action that ensured the next generation of innovators will have that same access to customers and the Internet so that they too can succeed and grow our economy.
“Internet users have assurances they will continue to have access to all existing apps, websites and services as well as ones that are still being developed in someone’s basement or dorm room.
“We have always supported open competition and open markets. The FCC’s Open Internet rules will help ensure a free, open, interconnected and competitive market for not just current online businesses, but for the next generation of digital entrepreneurs.”
The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President Cathy Sloan:
“Today’s common sense FCC action will protect the rights of consumers and small businesses to open Internet access connections. The American public rightly expects that their Internet access services will provide two-way telecommunications free of discriminatory content gatekeeping or degradation. So if nothing changes except for ever increasing bandwidth and speeds, this 2015 Open Internet decision will be a resounding success and will allow our digital economy to thrive.
“Further, there can be no global Internet freedom or global digital economy without local open Internet access in each country. So the FCC has set a good example around the world.”