Six public interest groups yesterday urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move ahead with a rulemaking to guarantee an open and non-discriminatory Internet.
In reply comments to the FCC, Public Knowledge, Benton Foundation, Center for Media Justice, Consumers Union, Media Access Project and New America Foundation said that the FCC “should move swiftly ahead” and complete the proceeding based on the information in the public record, rather than waiting for a consensus to emerge.
The comments are here.
The public interest groups told the Commission, which had asked for comment on the status of “managed” services and wireless services under a Net Neutrality regime: “Certainly it is laudable for the Commission to try to identify points of agreement, and to develop a sufficient record to make meaningful determinations. But at some point, the Commission actually must make a decision as to what rules will best serve the public interest. The Commission has now reached this point. Its own efforts and other efforts to broker a negotiation among stakeholders have failed, and the FCC must now decide whether it will ‘resolve the conflict’ on wireless and managed services ‘in favor of the party with the stronger case.’”
There is no consensus on the issues the FCC raised, the public interest groups said. Industry wants no regulation on specialized, managed services –whatever they may be – while the public interest groups fear those services “would cannibalize the Internet.”
Similarly, wireless service providers see no need for Net Neutrality rules to be applied to them, while public interest groups and the cable industry agree “there should be only one Internet.”
Public Knowledge is a Washington D.C.- based public interest group working to defend consumer rights in the emerging digital culture. More information is available at http://www.publicknowledge.org
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