Remarks of Commissioner O'Rielly at the International Bar Association Conference, Communication Committee Session
The following discussion of network neutrality, cybersecurity, privacy, encryption and the right to be forgotten boils down to an overarching, fundamental debate: how do we ensure the continued functionality and growth of the Internet. Everyone accepts that the Internet has transformed everyday life, but people – both domestically and internationally – do not always agree on the best means to preserve such an important global resource.
Last November, one wireless company announced a zerorating plan, which Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler declared to be “highly innovative and highly competitive”, only to reverse his position a month later, and then start a very public investigation into this offering, along with three others. At this point in time, the FCC has been investigating for ten months, and there appears to be no end in sight. While I disagree with this type of inquisition, the Commission should have the obligation to quickly review these services and inform these providers in writing the status of their offerings, including those that are in the clear. I have had conversations with industry participants that withheld new offerings because it isn’t worth being caught up in an FCC investigation. One company told me that their engineers came up with some new interesting ideas that were shot down almost immediately by their general counsel because of this rule. It is never a good thing when lawyers are dictating technology winners and losers, no offense to the lawyers in the room.
Remarks of Commissioner O'Rielly at the International Bar Association Conference, Communication Committee Session O'Rielly: FCC Zero Rating Inquiry Has Chilled Offerings (B&C)