Congress needs to pass a statute that protects the open internet and encourages innovation and investment — and end a protracted ping-pong match between Title I and Title II status for internet regulation.
It’s good policy to develop an internet governance regime that puts everyone under the same rules whether they are an internet giant like Facebook or an ISP. And it’s good politics, as Americans are getting tired of the constant backbiting, finger-pointing, and fragmentation that has become the norm for U.S. internet policy.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 822 that adopts a state-level net neutrality requirement for broadband providers operating in California. However well-intentioned this effort may be, it is deeply legally flawed. It also contains substantive provisions that would serve as a major barrier to broadband investment.
The door is open once again to large-scale broadband investment, but some in Congress are now urging a return of the heavy-handed regulatory treatment imposed on broadband in 2015. That would be a major mistake for the country at large and particularly punishing for broadband investment in our rural regions.
The Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) issued the following statement in response to the Internet Association’s (IA) letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles Schumer calling for lawmakers to codify open internet rules with a bipartisan bill.
There’s a chance to forge the bipartisan alliances that have long developed the best technology policies for our nation to put consumers’ interests and expectations first and produce a forward-looking bill that enshrines the principles of the open internet into law.
Former Congressman Rick Boucher argues that elevating to the status of law the FCC’s light-touch Title I regulatory treatment of broadband access service is the only dependable way to address the large rural-urban broadband deployment divide and ensure investment sufficient to meet the capacity demands of 5G technology.
We hope Congress will act swiftly, and on a bipartisan basis, to finally settle the net neutrality debate by adopting a 21st Century ‘Consumer Internet Protection Act’ that will guarantee in law the necessary and comprehensive safeguards to protect all Americans and their online activities.