Because every American
should have access
to broadband Internet.

The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.

The Podium

Blog posts tagged with 'Title Ii'

Wednesday, July 11

Challenging the FCC Over Re-Classification

By Brad

There were some fireworks during yesterday’s appearance of the full FCC before the House Energy and Commerce’s subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Brendan Sasso of The Hill reports:

Republican lawmakers on Tuesday accused Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski of hypocrisy for opposing international efforts to regulate the Internet but leaving his own agency the power to do so.

At a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce’s subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) pressed Genachowksi on whether he will close the commission’s docket to re-classify the Internet as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act. Currently, the FCC considers the Internet an “information service,” but the agency has much broader authority to regulate the telecommunications industry.

The FCC’s docket on whether to re-classify the Internet has been open since 2009, but the agency has not taken any action.

According to Sasso, Chairman Genachowski responded the Commission was still in the process of gathering public comments about the re-classification docket.

Friday, March 11

A Return of Title II?

By Brad

While most analysts and pundits believe efforts in Congress to repeal the FCC’s net neutrality regulations is a non-starter (since any repeal would surely be met by President Obama’s veto pen), the current challenges to the rules in court are another matter. As Sara Jerome of The Hill reports, at least one Republican in Congress, Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, is worried that should the rules be struck down, the FCC will turn its attention back to Title II regulations.

Friday, December 03

Still Pushing for Title II

By Brad

Looks like FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, who has long been one of the loudest advocates for strict regulations on broadband providers, will be a hard vote for Chairman Julius Genachowski to wrangle for his latest net neutrality proposal. As Fierce Wireless reports:

“These rules must be put on the most solid possible legal foundation and be quickly and effectively enforceable,” Copps said during a speech at Columbia University’s School of Journalism. “If this requires reclassifying advanced telecommunications as Title II telecommunications—and I continue to believe this is the best way to go—we should just do it and get it over with.”

With fellow Commissioners Robert McDowell and Meredith Baker already coming out against net neutrality, and Mignon Clyburn likely — if more quietly — in Copps’ camp, it’s possible that on December 21 the only yea vote for net neutrality may be Genachowski himself.

Translation: the net neutrality gridlock could be perpetuated — and the National Broadband Plan would continue to lack the attention it deserves.

Wednesday, November 24

Delaying the Next Meeting

By Brad

Yesterday, the FCC announced it was pushing back its December meeting by one week to December 21. Popular opinion is that the move has been made in anticipation of the Commission taking up net neutrality regulations. As the Washington Post’s Cecilia Kang reports:

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to introduce a proposal that would be under its questionable legal jurisdiction over broadband service providers, according to Stifel Nicholaus analyst Rebecca Arbogast. And the chairman is in the difficult position of now having to convince two Democratic commissioners who have pushed him to reassert authority over broadband services so he can implement rules against discrimination of content on Internet networks.

Analysts said the delay was probably created so Genachowski could garner support for a majority 3 to 2 vote on a final rule.

“We suspect the Democrats could ultimately support a Title I order, but they may seek some sort of concessions on this or other matters,” Arbogast wrote in a research note Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Sara Jerome of The Hill reports that Free Press — the advocacy group that has long pushed for the strictest of regulations on broadband providers — may be warming to the tamer Title I order as well:

[W]ith Genachowski attempting what appears to be a renewed effort to create net-neutrality rules, analysts are predicting he will use the weaker Title I, rather than Title II, to stake the agency’s authority.

Free Press is nevertheless open to backing the potential proposal, even if it is not accompanied by an attempt to place broadband services under Title II.

“The most important component to get correct is the actual policy itself — the actual policy that will govern the rules of the road and determine if there’s discrimination over the Internet,” [Free Press political advisor John] Kelsey said.

The FCC is now scheduled to release the agenda of its December meeting on November 30.

(Note: Stifel Nicholaus analyst Rebecca Arbogast, mentioned in the Washington Post article excerpted above, will be a speak at our next symposium event on December 7. For more information on the event, visit our Symposium Page.)

Tuesday, November 23

Giving Consensus Another Go

By Brad

Sara Jerome at The Hill reports that, on the heels of yesterday’s meeting between telecom and cable providers with the FCC, net neutrality advocates will be sitting down with the Commission sometime this week.

At Multichannel News, John Eggerton has more:

Talks about a legislative fix for network neutrality began at the FCC before moving outside the building after a Google/Verizon side agreement threw a monkey wrench into those, then over to Capitol Hill where the bill collapsed under the weight of Republican opposition. The goal now would be voting something out by the end of the year, pinned to the FCC’s existing Title I regime for overseeing broadband rather than reclassifying under Title II, which got strong pushback from some House Democrats as well as virtually all the Republicans.

Friday, November 19

Making a Move on Net Neutrality?

By Brad

Kim Hart of Politico reports that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski may move to impose net neutrality regulations on broadband providers next week — after many in Congress have already headed home for Thanksgiving:

It now appears Genachowski, after receiving significant pressure from net neutrality advocates and public interest groups to take action after congressional efforts failed, is picking up where Waxman left off.

“We haven’t circulated the December agenda,” said Jen Howard, spokeswoman for the FCC chairman’s office. “These rumors from outside, uniformed sources are pure speculation at best.”

Sources say Genachowski and his staff are exploring adding a wireless component to the Waxman proposal, though it is unclear how much farther beyond Waxman’s bill the chairman’s office will go.

The inclusion of wireless broadband — which even longtime net neutrality advocate Google warned was a bad idea when it announced its regulation agreement with Verizon — is sure to start a major fight on Capitol Hill.

 

Thursday, November 18

Net Neutrality Still on the Table

By Brad

Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco yesterday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski reaffirmed the commission’s commitment to net neutrality legislation. And, as the Financial Times reports, he also had some things to say about the Google-Verizon proposal from earlier this year:

“I would have preferred if they hadn’t done exactly what they did when they did,” Mr Genachowski said, adding that it “slowed down” his attempt to get web companies and carriers to agree to a policy outline that presumably would have given stronger protection to internet traffic.

Whether the FCC will make a move with its propsed “Third Way” Title II reclassification or attempt net neutrality regulations via Title I is still up in the air.

Wednesday, November 17

A Conversation With TechCrunch — Part 7

By Brad

Our Co-Chairs Bruce Mehlman and David Sutphen recently chatted with Andrew Keen from TechCrunch about last week’s election, the road ahead for the FCC, and how President Obama can “win back Silicon Valley.” The conversations have been broken up into a series, and TechCrunch has been kind enough to allow us to post them here throughout the week.

Here’s part seven, on how to solve the net neutrality debate:

Tuesday, November 16

Hurting Those You Are Claiming to Help

By Brad

In an op-ed for the Huffington Post, IIA Broadband Ambassador Navarrow Wright of Maximum Leverage Solutions — a strong supporter to closing America’s digital divide — takes aim at both net neutrality advocates and the FCC:

What is truly spiteful is when you hear the FCC say “We need to partner with the corporate world to deliver on the National Broadband Plan in order to get high speed Internet access to everyone.” And then you purposely conduct activities to take attention away from working towards that goal. Who are you hurting? The Government? The Telcos? No! You are hurting the very people who you say you’re trying to “save” the Internet for, misleading them to believe that your plan will work out better in the end.

Read the whole thing, as they say.

Monday, November 15

A Conversation With TechCrunch — Part 5

By Brad

Our Co-Chairs Bruce Mehlman and David Sutphen recently chatted with Andrew Keen from TechCrunch about last week’s election, the road ahead for the FCC, and how President Obama can “win back Silicon Valley.” The conversations have been broken up into a series, and TechCrunch has been kind enough to allow us to post them here throughout the week.

Here’s part five, which asks whether net neutrality advocates are against innovation:

Friday, November 12

Net Neutrality Across the Pond

By Brad

While proposed net neutrality/Title II regulations have apparently stalled (for the time being) here in the States, the New York TImes’ Kevin J. O’Brien reports the European Union has already decided new regulations aren’t necessary at this time:

During a speech in Brussels, Neelie Kroes, the commissioner for the bloc’s digital agenda, said that the European Union’s executive arm had opted to take a wait-and-see approach on the so-called network neutrality issue, which has become the focus of intense lobbying by operators, online businesses like Google, and free speech advocates on both sides of the Atlantic.

“We have to avoid regulation which might deter investment and an efficient use of the available resources,” Ms. Kroes said during a meeting on net neutrality held by the commission and the European Parliament.

A Conversation With TechCrunch — Part 4

By Brad

Our Co-Chairs Bruce Mehlman and David Sutphen recently chatted with Andrew Keen from TechCrunch about last week’s election, the road ahead for the FCC, and how President Obama can “win back Silicon Valley.” The conversations have been broken up into a series, and TechCrunch has been kind enough to allow us to post them here throughout the week.

Here’s part four, which covers the future of net neutrality:

Wednesday, November 10

A Conversation With TechCrunch — Part 2

By Brad

Our Co-Chairs Bruce Mehlman and David Sutphen recently chatted with Andrew Keen from TechCrunch about last week’s election, the road ahead for the FCC, and how President Obama can “win back Silicon Valley.” The conversations have been broken up into a series, and TechCrunch has been kind enough to allow us to post them here throughout the week.

Here’s part two:

Tuesday, November 09

A Conversation With TechCrunch — Part 1

By Brad

Our Co-Chairs Bruce Mehlman and David Sutphen recently chatted with Andrew Keen from TechCrunch about last week’s election, the road ahead for the FCC, and how President Obama can “win back Silicon Valley.” The conversations have been broken up into a series, and TechCrunch has been kind enough to allow us to post them here throughout the week.

Here’s part one:

 

Monday, November 08

An Intensely Focused Commitment to the Free-Market Perspective

By Bruce Mehlman

At the National Journal, Eliza Krigman examines the road ahead for the FCC now that Republicans have taken over the House:

Under Republican control of the House, the FCC will now answer to skeptics of government intervention in the market. GOP lawmakers can’t tell Genachowski what to do, but they can still bully him to kill initiatives that the administration hoped to accomplish—foremost among them, Obama’s campaign promise to enforce network neutrality. Republican gains in Congress will mean a “much more intensely focused commitment to the free-market perspective,” said former FCC Chairman Michael Powell. “The burden of proof shifts: It’s no longer industry having to prove why they shouldn’t be regulated.” Now it’s the government officials who will have to prove why they should regulate.

Thursday, November 04

Replying to the FCC

By IIA

Our response to the FCC’s call for reply comments in its Open Internet Public Notice on “Two Under-Developed Issues in the Open Internet Proceeding” has now been posted at the FCC website.

Statements from our Co-Chairs Bruce Mehlman and David Sutphen:

With Election Day behind us, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stands at a pivotal crossroads. If it provides certainty to network operators and predictability to investors, it can meaningfully advance availability and adoption of high-speed Internet across the nation. If it rejects the counsel of bipartisan majorities in Congress and unilaterally pursues a more aggressive regulatory agenda, it can expect years of diminished investment, delayed re-employment in the telecom sector, battles in court and partisan squabbling that disserves our nation.

To realize 100 percent broadband availability at speeds that enable the next-generation of innovative applications, the FCC estimates the need for $350 billion in additional investment. Given the huge federal budget deficit and national debt, those investments are not going to come from the government. We need private investors to see the business case for continually upgrading existing networks and deploying competing infrastructure platforms.

— Bruce Mehlman

At a time when the nation is looking for common ground and common sense solutions for creating new jobs and fostering an economic recovery, the last thing we need is new regulations that threaten one of the few bright spots for growth: the broadband economy. Now is the time to turn the page on net neutrality and focus attention on the issues like universal service fund reform, digital literacy programs, and innovation policy, all of which will help to ensure that every American is benefiting from the broadband economy.

— David Sutphen

November Agenda

By Brad

The FCC has released the tentative agenda for the November 30 open meeting. As expected, spectrum issues dominate the list of topics.

Perhaps unexpectedly, the issue of net neutrality/Title II is not on the agenda.

Net Neutrality on Election Day

By Brad

Last week, 95 Democratic candidates signed a pledge during their campaigns to “protect” net neutrality. But while the pledge may have made for a good press release from net neutrality advocates, it didn’t do much for the candidates on Election Day. Reports Juliana Gruenwald from Tech Daily Dose:

According to NETCompetition.org Chairman Scott Cleland all 95 of the candidates who took a pledge to support efforts to back rules that would bar Internet providers from discriminating against Internet content lost in Tuesday’s elections, including its high-profile champion Democrat Ann McLane Kuster in New Hampshire’s race for the 2nd congressional district. She was defeated by former GOP Rep. Charlie Bass, who did not appear to make net neutrality a campaign issue.

Tuesday, November 02

“A Crazy Quilt of Rules”

By Brad

With Republicans now controlling the House — and legislative gridlock predicted for tech policy — the most vocal advocates of net neutrality are expected to lobby hard for FCC Chairman Genachowski to move ahead with Title II regulations. At Roll Call, Larry Downes warns that would be a disastrous move:

Waxman’s proposal to end the stalemate was far less dangerous than the ill-advised gambit Genachowski proposed in May. To overcome the court decision, Genachowski threatened to unilaterally reclassify broadband access as a telephone service under Title II of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

That move would treat Internet access as if it were old-style phone service, subject to a crazy quilt of rules last dusted off before the 1984 breakup of the old telephone monopoly.

Legal scholars, unions and a bipartisan majority of Congress unequivocally counseled Genachowski not to move forward with reclassification. The proposal went quiet. But now, panicky net neutrality extremists want him to finish the job.

Downes full column is worth checking out.

Tech Policy After the Election

By Brad

Today is Election Day, and according to pundits, pollsters and… well, pretty much everyone, the Republicans are set to make big gains — which could have a major effect on tech policy. As Cecilia Kang of the Washington Post reports:

What does it mean if Joe Barton (R-Tex), Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) or Fred Upton (R-Mich.) lead the committee? Gridlock on telecom and tech policy, analysts say.

“I don’t anticipate significant change in telecom legislation in the next two years,” said Earl Comstock, head of Comstock Consulting and former legislative director for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).

Observers say there is little to distinguish the three on their approach to tech and telecom policy. All three will strongly oppose legislation on net neutrality and may even threaten to take away funding from the Federal Communications Commission if FCC Chairman Julius Geanchowski pushes through on his proposed regulation.

Upton has called Genachowski’s push to reassert authority over broadband services a “blind power grab.” Barton dismissed legislation for net neutrality by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) last month. And Stearns said that a net neutrality bill needs more consideration, and that if the FCC tries to redefine broadband as a telecom service, he’d pull funding for the agency.

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