The FCC must protect the open internet — millions of Americans agree


Source: Hill, The
Coverage Type: op-ed
Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

[Commentary] Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai plans to eliminate net neutrality protections. Without these protections, big internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T will be free to block or slow down content as they see fit. We, as former FCC commissioners, believe that these rules are the only way of preserving real net neutrality that protects the internet as an economic engine and platform for democratic discourse.

If Chairman Pai has his way, we could see an Internet where big cable companies decide who should have a voice and which businesses succeed and fail. Only the current net neutrality rules give the FCC the authority to ensure that the Internet remains open for all, and can remain a watchdog to stop bad behavior before it harms consumers and innovation. Americans in both parties believe the government should prioritize preventing companies from harming consumers before it occurs. Eliminating or watering down the net neutrality rules would do just the opposite, giving companies free reign to control what Americans see and do on the Internet, changing the profound effect the open Internet has on the economy and our democracy.

Strong net neutrality rules are important to the future of continued innovation, free speech, and economic opportunity. Proponents of a free and open internet should ensure their support is heard by filing comments at the FCC. And, if we want an internet that truly lives up to our country’s ideals, the current FCC chairman better listen to the citizens he serves.

[Michael Copps is the Special Advisor at Common Cause and former FCC Commissioner and Gloria Tristani is a Special Policy Advisor at National Hispanic Media Coalition and former FCC Commissioner.]

Comments

It is nice to read two former Commissioners describing the current Title II rules as necessary. Interim Chairman Pai should hear "Ajit Pai, You are fired" from President Trump and the U.S. Senate soon. The web of interconnected wire communications (47 U.S.C. §153 ¶(59)) run in PUBLIC PROPERTY all across America. Telecommunications providers are not entitled to free-trade rulings because, as oligopolies, there is no competition whatsoever for wired telecommunications.

Why do we not see GOOG, FB, MSFT, etc protesting as much as many would suspect. Why? Because GOOG and others already purchased fast lanes. These were quietly purchased from ISPs so GOOG searches appeared faster. GOOG searches will appear marginally slower after Title II Section 202 is enforced.

CurtisNeeley on July 11, 2017 - 3:18pm.

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