Broadband Roundup: Advocacy Groups Weigh in Pro-and-Con on Net NeutralityFCC, Net Neutrality September 17th, 2014
Austin Allen, Reporter, Broadband Breakfast
WASHINGTON, September 17, 2014 – A variety of developments on the battle regarding network neutrality:
FreePress Tells FCC Title II Ensures Net Neutrality Protections
The advocacy group Free Press blasted Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler’s efforts to use Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as the means to enough to ensure network neutrality rules. The group said that Title II reclassification of broadband as a common carrier under the Communications Act is the right approach to both restore legal clarity and encourage investment, it stated in a press release.
“Section 706 is entirely inadequate as a legal foundation for any open Internet rules,” said Policy Director Matt Wood. “Section 706 promises nothing but uncertainty and future legal battles; it’s a shoddy and ineffective way to protect the Internet. Title II, on the other hand, provides ample authority for the Commission to prevent access charges, blocking, undue discrimination, paid prioritization and all manner of unjust and unreasonable practices.”
American Commitment Proudly Displays More than 800,000 Americans Against Title II Net Neutrality
In an effort to combat the likes of Free Press and the progressive group Demand Progress, American Commitment said it had rallied more than 800,000 Americans to sign its petition to the FCC against any regulation of the internet.
“This exceptional outpouring of support for Internet freedom is proof positive that the American people firmly oppose any federal takeover of the Internet. The FCC should take note and act accordingly,” said Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment. “A Washington takeover of the Internet would be disastrous for free speech, commerce, and the future of the Internet as a sphere of innovation. The American people oppose Washington’s effort to put unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in control of the Internet—which will create higher prices, less competition, and less freedom.”
Facebook Is Against Paid Prioritization
On September 11, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Reilly met with officials from Facebook to discuss its stance on net neutrality. In a letter to the FCC about this meeting, the social media giant stated that it “has long supported a free and open Internet that is accessible to people around the world, and urged the FCC to adopt enforceable rules against paid prioritization or the creation of Internet fast lanes, so that the Internet remains an open platform for speech and commerce.” Google made a similar statement.