How the FCC Can Preserve the Open Internet & Net Neutrality Through Title II Reclassification
34 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2015
Date Written: July 16, 2014
The case for reclassifying broadband internet access under Title II, and adopting rules that protect the Open Internet and ensure net neutrality.
Introduction & Background: The recent 2014 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding Net Neutrality represents an opportunity for the Federal Communications Commission to choose a communications future of innovation, creative exchange, and consumer choice, rather than one where powerful companies can alter the Internet to support entrenched business models. The Commission was certainly correct when it stated that the Internet is “America’s most important platform for economic growth, innovation, competition, free expression, and broadband investment and deployment.” As a non-profit organization focused on providing free and low-cost legal assistance to independent creators, internet users, and start-up entrepreneurs (such as musicians, artists, filmmakers, mobile app developers, and more), New Media Rights (“NMR”) is reminded daily of the innumerable benefits the Internet can provide to American innovators, creators, and consumers. As the Commission suggests, these benefits largely flow from the open architecture of the Internet and its low barriers to entry. However, in recent years this openness has been challenged by fixed and mobile broadband internet access providers. We stand at a fork in the road, and if the Commission cannot implement strong, certain, and legally defensible rules to maintain the basic tenants of Net Neutrality (Transparency, No Blocking, No Discrimination), the trend away from an Open Internet is likely to continue to the detriment of not only American consumers and innovators, but American society as a whole.
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