For immediate release
Aug. 21, 2006
Public Knowledge Statement on FTC Chairman Majoras Speech
Background: FTC Chairman Deborah Majoras announced she will organize an Internet Access Task Force to examine a variety of issues, including Net Neutrality. Her speech is available here:
The following is the statement of Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn:
“We welcome the interest of the Federal Trade Commission in the Net Neutrality issue. We certainly look forward to the analysis of an agency that exists to protect competition of the broadband market in which 98 percent of customers receive their service from either the telephone company or the cable company, if they have that choice at all. There are no market forces at work here, much as Chairman Majoras wishes there to be. Should the FTC see the need to examine the workings of that market and craft a solution to bring more competition, Public Knowledge would be a willing participant in such a proceeding.
“At the same time, we note that Chairman Majoras' call for a cost-benefit analysis of regulation should reflect well on the calls for Net Neutrality legislation. Far from being a new, overwhelming “one-size-fits-all” mandate, as the chairman indicates, Net Neutrality is, at its base, the reinstatement of the non-discrimination principles of the Communications Act. These principles were in existence for telecommunications services until the Federal Communications Commission lifted them last fall. That type of regulation would certainly be more simple to implement than a new, wide-ranging FTC rule, which would not have the benefit of 70 years of Communications Act regulations of networks behind it.”
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.