Benton Welcomes New Effort to Protect the Open Internet

Earlier today, the Federal Communications Commission released a Public Notice seeking public input on how to proceed in light of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s guidance in the Verizon v. FCC opinion which vacated and remanded parts of the Commission’s Open Internet rules. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler released several steps the Commission will take to ensure an open Internet. The following statement may be attributed to Benton Foundation Director of Policy Amina Fazlullah:

The Benton Foundation salutes Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler’s continuing commitment to and leadership in preserving a free and open Internet. It is important to remember that transparency, “no-blocking”, and non-discrimination rules represent more than how commercial content and transport entities interact. These rules ensure that non-commercial content and services like education, health, civic discourse, emergency communications and the like receive the same treatment as commercial content and services.

Benton looks forward in participating in the Commission’s new proceeding and thanks Chairman Wheeler for keeping reclassification of Internet service as a telecommunications service an option moving forward. We appreciate the Chairman’s understanding that enabling community-based options can spur investment, innovation, and opportunity to help more Americans benefit from competitive broadband networks. With the Commission’s invitation for public input, Benton will be working with groups that represent vulnerable communities, asking them to remind the FCC how much they have at stake in the net neutrality debate.