Statement on Broadband Talks

The following statement is attributable to Amina Fazlullah, Policy Counsel of the Benton Foundation

We are heartened to hear that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided to return to a robust and open public process surrounding the future regulatory framework of broadband.

To protect consumers and ensure timely and efficient implementation of the National Broadband Plan the FCC must complete the Notice of Inquiry process and determine a path forward that will both protect consumers and encourage robust innovation and competition. Any thing short of a fair, open and public process will, at best, sully the final decision or, at worst, result in a decision that is not in the best interests of the public. Regulations protecting and enhancing our nation's broadband access will also enhance consumer welfare, civic participation, public safety and homeland security, community development, health care delivery, energy independence and efficiency, education, worker training, private sector investment, entrepreneurial activity, job creation and economic growth, and other national purposes.

The Federal Communications Commission has an obligation to encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet. We are pleased that the Commission appears to have appropriately re-centered their focus on the open, public proceedings that should define rules that guarantee that all consumers are entitled to: access the lawful Internet content of their choice, run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement, connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network, and competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.

The Benton Foundation's mission is to articulate a public interest vision for the digital age and to demonstrate the value of communications for solving social problems. Benton is a longtime supporter of research on universal service and the potential of high-speed Internet connections to improve American's lives.