Press Statement on NOI Third Way

For Immediate Release

Cecilia Garcia
Amina Fazlullah

Washington, DC - June 18, 2010 - During yesterday's open commission meeting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a comprehensive Notice of Inquiry to collect comments and recommendations considering the authority of the FCC to protect broadband Internet consumers and to enhance and promote investment in our country's broadband infrastructure.

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

"We are pleased to see that the FCC is taking steps to ensure that all broadband consumers will enjoy strong consumer protections. The Comcast case has created great uncertainty over a regulatory scheme that was in place to protect consumers of broadband services. We hope that this Notice of Inquiry will lead to a quick resolution so that the FCC can begin the important work laid out in the National Broadband Plan. We encourage the FCC to settle the regulatory pathway forward so that our regulators can focus the tasks of modernizing the Universal Service Fund (USF), enhancing the E-Rate program and providing a robust Lifeline/Linkup program.

Chairman Genachowski's "Third Way" proposal has carefully outlined a pathway that will offer a light touch to the industry while ensuring that consumers can depend on the Commission to protect their interests as they engage in the broadband marketplace."

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.