Benton Supports FCC's 'Third Way'

The Benton Foundation strongly supports the Third Way as a solution to the challenges of the adverse decision in Comcast v. Federal Communications Commission and a changing marketplace for broadband. The proposal is consistent with pre-2002 classifications of Internet service, which have long held that the transmission component is separable from the information service. Benton urges the FCC to bring its broadband policy in line with current consumer views of broadband and reduces legal uncertainty regarding its authority to pursue the goals of the National Broadband Plan. The free and open Internet, the deployment of broadband Internet access to all Americans, and the enforcement of basic consumer protection rules all depend on classifying broadband Internet connectivity as a telecommunications service. If the FCC continues to rely on Title I ancillary authority, it will invite future litigation and uncertainty, as well as the erosion of consumer protection principles and the contraction of investment and innovation.