Remarks of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to National Cable & Telecommunications Association

We have circulated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to my fellow commissioners on the topic of the Open Internet.

There are two things that are important to understand. First, this is a Notice, which asks a number of questions and seeks input on the best way to protect and promote the Open Internet. Second, all options are on the table. Our goal is to put into place real protections for consumers, innovators and entrepreneurs that until now have been only a matter of debate and litigation.

I believe this process will put us on track to quickly get to legally enforceable Open Internet rules. There has been a great deal of talk about how our following the court’s instruction to use a “commercially reasonable” test could result in a so-called “fast lane” and Internet “haves” and “have nots.” This misses the point that any new rule will assure an open pathway that is sufficiently robust to enable consumers to access the content, services and applications they demand and innovators and edge providers the ability to offer new products and services.

The focus of this proposal -- on which we are seeking comment -- is on maintaining a broadly available, fast and robust Internet as a platform for economic growth, innovation, competition, free expression, and broadband investment and deployment. We will follow the court’s blueprint for achieving this, and, I must warn you, will look skeptically on special exceptions.

If someone acts to divide the Internet between “haves” and “have-nots,” we will use every power at our disposal to stop it. I consider that to include Title II. Just because it is my strong belief that following the court’s roadmap will produce similar protections more quickly, does not mean I will hesitate to use Title II if warranted. And, in our Notice, we are asking for input as to whether this approach should be used.

Remarks of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to National Cable & Telecommunications Association FCC chief vows to stop ‘slow lanes’ on Internet (The Hill) The Cable Show 2014: FCC Chairman Wheeler -- Open Internet Will Be Preserved...Or Else (B&C) FCC Chairman on net neutrality: all options are on the table (GigaOm) FCC Chairman Asks Cable Providers to Support Open Internet (The Wrap) FCC chairman says there will be no Internet 'fast lane' (C-Net|News) State laws that ban municipal Internet will be invalidated, FCC chair says (ars technica)