WASHINGTON, December 29, 2009 – A New York University School of Law advocacy organization is heavily pushing proposed rules that would regulate internet access to support so-called Net neutrality principles.
The Institute for Policy Integrity, which describes itself as a non-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to improving the quality of governmental decisionmaking, plans to release a report next week on the “economic consequences of putting a toll on the Internet.”
The study finds that “it could have serious negative impacts – altering the face of the Web by pricing content out.”
The Federal Communications Commission said the conclusion of the public comment period on its proposed open internet rules ends on January 14. Reply comments are due on March 5.
“The free and open Internet has shaped the last decade. But now, some large Internet service providers want to create a toll system that charges content providers like newspapers, bloggers and web site owners a fee to reach broadband subscribers,” according to an IPI email.
“This month, the federal government is considering rules to put into law the current state of play. Often referred to as “net neutrality,” this policy encourages a free and open Internet. But there are significant lobbying efforts to allow tolls to exist,” it reads.
IPI is currently partnering with a coalition led by Free Press and Consumers Union to support FCC efforts to “prevent internet service providers from discriminating against websites based on content.” The group states that it is “conducting research to show that this network neutrality rule is cost-benefit justified in economic terms.”
IPI, which was founded in the summer of 2008, counts former White House chief of staff, John Podesta and former Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs administrator, Sally Katzen, as advisory board members. The group was founded by Richard Revesz and Michael Livermore and has received support from the Hewlett Foundation and Rockefeller Family Fund.
While IPI supports open internet regulation, the proposed rules are controversial with numerous opponents as well.