Friday, December 14, 2018
The FCC's Darkest Day
On December 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission abandoned its role in protecting broadband service customers’ rights to employ any legal applications, content, devices, and services of their choosing on the broadband networks they rely on. On the anniversary of this decision, the following statement may be attributed to Benton Senior Counselor Andrew Jay Schwartzman of the Georgetown University Law Center's Communications and Technology Law Clinic :
Today we mark a trifecta of governmental malfeasance: last year, the FCC’s majority ignored bipartisan public support for the net neutrality protections the Commission adopted in 2015; it displayed a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology, and it misinterpreted U.S. communications law. Last year, Benton promised that net neutrality was not dead and predicted wins at both ballot boxes and in the courts. In November, the American public overwhelmingly backed candidates that support net neutrality. In February 2019, Benton will join many public interest advocates and private companies bringing their case against the flawed, Orwellian-named, Restoring Internet Freedom Order before a federal appeals court.
Benton remains steadfast in our commitment to preserving and protecting an open and free Internet. Strong, enforceable network neutrality rules promote access, diversity, equity, and innovation. Net neutrality rules are crucial for empowering our most-vulnerable communities, enabling them to dispel misperceptions and stereotypes that restrict their political, social, and economic participation. And, in an increasingly digital age, neutrality is essential for our democracy, protecting the Internet as a forum for free expression.
Benton, a non-profit, operating foundation, believes that communication policy - rooted in the values of access, equity, and diversity - has the power to deliver new opportunities and strengthen communities to bridge our divides. Our goal is to bring open, affordable, high-capacity broadband to all people in the U.S. to ensure a thriving democracy.
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