Reactions to FCC's Net Neutrality Proceeding

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stated, "Today, there is no expert agency ensuring that the internet is fast, open, and fair. And for everyone, everywhere to enjoy the full benefits of the internet age, internet access needs to be more than just accessible and affordable. The internet needs to be open."

“It’s a framework that puts users in charge of what they do online — and not the companies they pay for a connection," said FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks. "It’s a framework that protects consumers in their use of an essential service instead of simply trusting ISPs to do the right thing.“

FCC Commissioner Carr said, "We should not spend our time staring into the regulatory rear-view mirror or relitigating disputes that have long since passed from relevancy. Yet that is precisely what the agency does today with Title II. I would encourage my colleagues to change course and focus the FCC’s work on the numerous, important subjects that Congress has authorized the Commission to address — from rural broadband to spectrum to universal service reform. Heading down the path to Title II will not only push vital FCC matters onto the back burner, it will knock many of them off the stove altogether."

House Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Communications Subcommittee Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH) said, "Since this debate was settled in 2017, American broadband networks have thrived. Thanks to our light-touch regulatory framework, more people have access to faster, more reliable, and more affordable internet services. We’re also closer than ever before to closing the digital divide and solidifying our leadership in next-generation technologies. Now is not the time to impose utility-style controls. We strongly urge the FCC to reverse course on this proposed rulemaking, which will weaken services, stifle innovation, and jeopardize American communications leadership."

Senators Edward Markey (D-A) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) said, "The COVID-19 pandemic clearly demonstrated that broadband – like electricity and water – isn’t a luxury, it’s essential infrastructure. Today, the Federal Communications Commission recognized that by advancing strong net neutrality protections and rightfully reclassifying broadband as a Title II service. These rules will protect the free and open internet, create a level playing field for all businesses, and help ensure a just broadband future. We commend Chairwoman Rosenworcel for this historic action and will not stop fighting until strong net neutrality protections are fully restored."

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Senior Counselor Andrew Jay Schwartzman said, "The laws governing U.S. telecommunications have not changed over the last several years. What has changed is the public’s understanding of the critical need for fully functional and reliable high-speed internet access. The COVID epidemic and the changing national security environment, among other things, demonstrate how essential it is for the FCC to restore the protections afforded under Title II of the Communications Act to broadband."

"Today’s vote is an important start to restoring internet freedom and openness," said Chris Lewis, President and CEO at Public Knowledge. "Over the next few months, the FCC and the public at large will have an opportunity to look carefully at the benefits of having broadband included in the communications networks that fall under FCC authority. This commonsense classification is a no-brainer to the millions of Americans who want the FCC to work to ensure that all of us are connected to quality, affordable, open, and secure broadband networks."

"Americans deserve better internet access—access that is not just fast and open, but also resilient, affordable, and accessible to everyone," said Raza Panjwani, Senior Policy Counsel at New America’s Open Technology Institute. "That reliable high-speed internet access is a vital service is beyond question at this point—to the point that we are investing billions of dollars to ensure every American is connected. So it defies belief that there wouldn’t be an agency performing oversight and ensuring such a critical service serves the needs of Americans."

“We applaud FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel and Commissioners Gomez and Starks for getting right to work to protect internet users," said Free Press Co-CEO Jessica J. González. "Reinstating the agency’s Title II authority is a top priority. People across the country are demanding these open-internet safeguards, which will allow the FCC to ensure that everyone in the United States — no matter their location, political persuasion, race or income — has affordable, reliable and safe internet connections free from discrimination, blocking or other ISP manipulation.

INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering said, "INCOMPAS has a long-standing history of leading on open internet policies that have proven to increase competition and spread connectivity. As we have stated before, we believe Congress should establish a permanent and predictable Internet policy framework. However, in light of Congressional inaction, we welcome the Commission’s vote this morning to reinstate its limited authority over broadband. This will also ensure every consumer can access the lawful online content and services of their choice and will promote competition, including protecting broadband only providers who need access to poles and multi-tenant environments to deploy their networks, and will put the Universal Service Fund on a sustainable path forward to meet its mission.”

Demand Progress Communications Director Maria Langholz said, "When Trump’s FCC Chair Ajit Pai led the repeal of net neutrality and rolled back Title II classification for broadband access, it was a huge win for the telecom industry and its executives. We applaud the FCC for not giving up this fight in the face of the seemingly endless effort by corporate giants and their lobbyists to block commonsense and broadly popular open internet protections."

“I’m pleased that the FCC started the process to bring back net neutrality for all Americans and restore its oversight over the companies we pay to get online," said Barbara van Schewick, Director of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. "Under the leadership of Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, the FCC is now on the path to restoring commonsense net neutrality protections that ensure that we, the people who use the internet, get to decide what we do online, without interference from the companies we pay to get online."

“With today’s vote, the FCC unfortunately has placed politics over sound policy and fiction over facts, and we are now embarking on yet another unnecessary and distracting net neutrality proceeding,“ Michael Powell, president and CEO of NCTA: The Internet & Television Association, said. “By introducing the most sweeping command and control framework ever imposed on broadband networks, the FCC’s proposal is a monumental change in how the internet will be regulated and will dramatically affect how it will work going forward.”

“We have an industry in aggregate that supports no blocking, no paid prioritization, no throttling, contrary to what we see going on with some platform apps that are out there that are choosing to do some of those things,” said AT&T CEO John Stankey. “The ISP industry is, I think, the last of customers’ concerns. Why we would use taxpayer money and resources and political capital to chase a problem that doesn’t exist is a bit of a mystery to me.”

“[T]oday’s proposed agency action will go down in history as one of the most egregious overreaches in regulatory history,” Free State Foundation president Randolph May said. “Rather than “net neutrality,” the proposed strict government control of Internet providers by the imposition of public utility regulation might more properly be called 'net neutering.’”

“Seven years ago, the world was promised a digital apocalypse when the Pai FCC repealed ‘net neutrality’ regulations,” said Evan Swarztrauber, senior adviser at the Foundation for American Innovation. “Those false flames of fear contributed to an environment that led to death threats against FCC Commissioners and their families and a bomb threat called into the Commission on the day of the repeal vote. Not only did the predictions fail to materialize, but America’s internet got faster, more available, more competitive and cheaper when adjusted for inflation. [S]o here the FCC goes again — hitting the pingpong ball across the table for another waste of time and taxpayer resources that has a very good chance of being struck down at the Supreme Court.”

CTIA President & CEO Meredith Attwell Baker said, "The wireless industry champions keeping the internet open and our networks secure and resilient. The FCC’s action today only undermines our ability to achieve those goals while also putting at risk American competitiveness."

Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO, USTelecom, said, "Broadband providers have and always will support an open internet. But Title II is not the answer. Title II is, at its heart, a regulatory power grab. Mandating crushing regulatory hurdles will only delay rather than deliver the promise of universal connectivity."

“The FCC’s proposal to reinstate Title II regulation of broadband is not only misguided – it is a missed opportunity," said ACA Connects President and CEO Grant Spellmeyer. "We should be working together to improve broadband access and adoption for all Americans, not relitigating the regulatory battles of the past. We are confident the record will establish that century-old common carrier regulation is unnecessary to safeguard the open Internet and will only impede the delivery of more reliable, more capable, and less expensive broadband service by dampening, if not thwarting, investment, innovation, and competition."

Reactions to FCC's Net Neutrality Proceeding MARKEY, WYDEN STATEMENT ON FCC VOTE TO ADVANCE REINSTATEMENT OF NET NEUTRALITY Benton Institute Welcomes FCC's Moves Toward Restoring Consumers' Internet Protections AT&T CEO bashes possible return of net neutrality rules FCC Reasserts Authority Over Internet Access Chairs Rodgers and Latta Blast FCC for Reopening Net Neutrality Debate Statement of Michael Powell, President & CEO, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association Regarding Net Neutrality CTIA Statement on Open Internet NPRM USTelecom Statement on FCC’s Title II Vote ACA Connects Statement on FCC Proposal to Reimpose the Heavy Hand of Title II on Broadband FCC Moves To Reinstate Title II Broadband Authority, Net Neutrality Rules OTI Commends FCC Vote to Pursue Restoration of Its Authority to Protect the Open Internet INCOMPAS Statement on Net Neutrality Proceeding The FCC Takes Its First Step Toward Reversing Trump-Era Ruling That Stripped Internet Users of Their Right to an Open and Afford Demand Progress Applauds FCC for Advancing Rulemaking to Reclassify Broadband Under Title II, Restore Net Neutrality FCC STARTS PROCESS TO BRING BACK COMMON SENSE NET NEUTRALITY PROTECTIONS AND BROADBAND OVERSIGHT