Washington — FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced Tuesday that he would release his proposal Wednesday to rescind rules that prevent Internet Service Providers from blocking, slowing down or speeding up traffic to certain websites. The internet has flourished under principles known as “net neutrality,” which have prevented discrimination and promoted entrepreneurship and smaller websites by increasing the likelihood that they would be found online and not left behind as traffic to other sites became faster.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association has spoken out on this issue for over two decades, and recently filed legal briefs, comments, and reply comments telling the FCC that the best way to preserve internet freedom and protect the open internet is for the FCC to maintain the 2015 Open Internet Order. CCIA President & CEO Ed Black published this op ed Friday, expressing gratitude for the Open Internet — before the FCC clears it away. The following can be attributed to Black:
“We are grateful this Thanksgiving for decades of internet access that has promoted access to information and a good business climate for startups. Chairman Pai’s aggressive proposal would provide a feast for the big ISPs, and leave the rest of us — thousands of businesses and millions of consumers — with cold leftover scraps.”
“The FCC has both the expertise and the mandate from Congress for the past nine decades to manage traffic across communications networks. The Chairman is proposing that the FCC abdicate its longstanding duty to protect consumers’ access to communications. His abdication of responsibility and handoff to the FTC fails to recognize the risks of assuming that the FTC can be an adequate backstop when it comes to managing network traffic and preventing widespread abusive practices.”
“This is a case where the devil is in both the concept — and in the details to be released. The internet has become such a critical tool for access to information, for businesses reaching customers and for start ups that such a big change to how it functions is worrisome. We are disappointed to see that the Chairman has somehow decided that the profits of the few outweigh the needs of the many.”