For Immediate Release
Background: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this morning voted to issue a Notice of Inquiry on “broadband industry practices” that will include a discussion of an open Internet. It also voted to classify wireless broadband services as an “information service.” The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:
“While we welcome the FCC's interest in maintaining an open Internet, we are disappointed that the Commission chose to issue a simple Notice of Inquiry. This bureaucratic process will delay by months if not years the crucial action needed to guarantee that consumers will always have access to an open and non-discriminatory Internet — assuming that it issues a proposed rule after evaluating the information it receives from the inquiry.
“The Commission should recognize that the goal of Net Neutrality is to restore the protections for consumers and content providers that were in effect when the Internet started and which allowed the medium to become what it has today. Simply because telephone and cable companies are on their best behavior today, while the Commission and Congress examine the issue, is no reason to delay action to protect consumers and content providers in the future from the actions of network operators which have said they will split the Internet into a privileged fast lane, and a dirt road for everyone else. Waiting until the network operators have implemented those plans and then trying to regulate after the fact, as some have suggested, will not be effective in protecting consumers and protecting innovation.
“It is also disappointing that the Commission at the same time unfortunately chose this meeting to classify wireless broadband services as 'information services' at the same time it will examine whether the same classification for telephone and cable services is working as promised to benefit consumers and innovation. The Commission should take a broader view of the Internet and move to restore protections on every means consumers have access.”
Public Knowledge is a public-interest advocacy and education organization that seeks to promote a balanced approach to intellectual property law and technology policy that reflects the “cultural bargain” intended by the framers of the constitution. More information available at: http://www.publicknowledge.org
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at email@example.com or 405-249-9435.