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This year’s net neutrality debate has completely missed the point

August 29, 2014

by Larry Downes
The Washington Post

Late last week, Silicon Valley congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.)launched a contest on Reddit to “rebrand” net neutrality. “All the jargon about net neutrality rules,” Eshoo wrote, “is making it difficult [for users] to know what box to check that advances their best interest.”

Whether Redditors can come up with better jargon, and whether or not better jargon is really what’s needed, Rep. Eshoo is certainly correct that the term has lost all meaning — if it ever had any in the first place. Read More…

Title II – Innovating at Government Speed

August 27, 2014

by Mike Wendy
Media Freedom

As we approach the final phase in the FCC’s third attempt to create a legally viable Net Neutrality rule, the anti-property groups pushing for “real” / “simple” Net Neutrality have expressed near hysterical support for the idea that the only way to protect the open web from “evil” ISPs is to ensure that they are regulated like public utilities.  Through FDR-era Title II regulation.  And lots of it.

I guess they believe that public utilities – like water, gas, electricity, and our streets – have been the paradigm of growth and innovation?

Sure they are. Read More…

Grover Norquist Files Comments With FCC on TWC-Comcast Merger

August 26, 2014

by Cassandra Carroll
Americans for Tax Reform

The following comments can be attributed to Grover Norquist, regarding the Comcast-TimeWarner merger:

“The marketplace is adjusting to consumer demand, the government should not meddle beyond antitrust concerns in a free-market transaction.”

Americans for Tax Reform President, Grover Norquist, and Executive Director of Digital Liberty, Katie McAuliffe filed comments with the FCC regarding the TWC-Comcast merger. Read More…

FCC Commissioner’s Staffer Makes Compelling Case Against Muni Broadband Preemption

August 22, 2014

by ALEC Blog Team
American Legislator

On August 20, Matthew Berry, Chief of Staff to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Ajit Pai, spoke out in convincing manner against FCC preemption of state laws restricting municipal broadband networks. His remarks revealed the unwise, unlawful and unconstitutional dimensions of the FCC’s power-grab-in-progress.

The FCC is now taking public comment on a pair of petitions seeking preemption of state laws restricting muni broadband networks. One petition seeks federal preemption of a Tennessee law restricting the geographic boundaries of local government-owned broadband networks. Another petition seeks preemption of a North Carolina law that includes local voter approval requirements before such networks can be built. The implications of both petitions extend far beyond muni broadband. Federal preemption on the basis now being considered by the FCC would subvert structural federalism principles underlying the U.S. Constitution. Read More…

Independent agencies: The lost lesson of civics and civility

August 21, 2014

by Gus Hurwitz
Tech Policy Daily

Pro-Title II groups have regularly urged the President to get involved in the FCC’s Open Internet proceedings. Characteristic of these efforts is Free Press’s self-styled “Campaign to Push Obama on Net Neutrality.” Similar suasion has been applied to members of Congress. These efforts have increased in recent weeks with the Editorial Board of the New York Times addressing Title II in an editorial called “President Obama: No Internet Fast Lanes” and pro-Title II advocates penning a public letter requesting a meeting with the President to discuss these issues.

These efforts show at best a basic – and ironic – ignorance of the structure of our Federal government, and at worst a deliberate intent to win political points by further agitating and confusing an already bewildered public. Read More…

Title II Bad For Business, Bad For Consumers

August 29, 2014

by Cassandra Carroll
Digital Liberty

The FCC has been pushed on reclassifying the internet under Title II, the same set of statutes that were used to govern Ma Bell when modern telecommunications was in its infancy in the 1940’s and 50’s. With a name like “net neutrality”, or open internet rules hitting a court wall aka illegal, Title II may sound like a great idea.  It’s being touted as a way to ensure that all data from all sources would be treated equally with no “fast lanes” or pricing discrimination. Who wouldn’t want to make sure the internet was a place where ideas, opinions, services, goods, and information can be freely exchanged? Read More…

The Federal Government Should Keeps Its Hands and Taxes Off the Internet

August 29, 2014

by David Williams
Town Hall Blog

Most people don’t associate the concept of restraint with a federal government that’s spending taxpayer dollars at a rate of $7 million a minute and passing so many new regulations that the Code of Federal Regulations is now over 175,000 pages, and growing.

But give credit where credit is due. The Feds have shown remarkable restraint and foresight when it comes to not burdening the Internet with unnecessary regulations and taxes. Ever since the Internet emerged as a consumer tool in the early 1990s, politicians and regulators recognized that the technology was developing in ways they couldn’t predict. Instead of legislating yesterday’s Internet, they decided to let it evolve with minimal government intrusion into the Internet we have today. Read More…

NetCompetition’s FCC Comments – Don’t Preempt State Muni Broadband Laws

August 29, 2014

by Scott Cleland
Precusor Blog

There are two core reasons the FCC should not try to preempt State muni-broadband laws.

  1. The Supreme Court has already indicated it would be unconstitutional.
  2. It would be anti-competitive, the opposite of the FCC’s statutory purpose and legal mandate.

I.  Why FCC Preemption of States Rights would be Unconstitutional

First, the Supreme Court already has decided this issue effectively in favor of state rights. InNixon v. Missouri Municipal League (2004) the Supreme Court rejected federal preemption of state prohibitions on telecom services. It specifically rejected the use of the FCC’s Title IIsection 253(a) authority to preempt state prohibitions of localities offering telecom services on constitutional federalism grounds. Read More…

Comcast-TWC Merger Comments to FCC

August 27, 2014

by Ryan Radia, Clyde Wayne Crews
Competitive Enterprise Institute

View Full Comments Here

In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission yesterday, the Competitive Enterprise Institute urged the FCC to unconditionally approve Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable (“TWC”). By promptly approving the deal, the Commission is likely to serve the public interest by advancing consumer welfare and facilitating robust competition in the dynamic and multi-sided markets for broadband Internet service, multichannel video distribution, and original television programming. Although we cannot say with certainty whether this merger, if consummated, will deliver all the benefits that both empirical evidence and economic theory suggest it can attain, the upside of the deal for consumers is far more promising than its downside is worrisome. Read More…

Net Neutrality – What’s Outside the Gate?

August 26, 2014

by Editor
The American Consumer

Content purveyors are asking a big political favor from regulators – regulate Internet delivery networks by controlling the speeds and prices those firms are allowed to offer to everyone.  Under a brilliant but cynical choice of name, “net neutrality,” regulations would grant the wishes of one group of technical firms to the detriment of other firms and the public – there is nothing neutral about it and it may eventually bring about 1930s-style regulation that could cripple innovation and competitive pricing.

Content purveyors dominate Internet traffic volumes: Netflix (34% of all Internet traffic), Google (75% of all search and related advertising activity), and video purveyors in general (84% of all Internet traffic). The companies who regularly flood the Internet want Internet delivery firms (aka Internet Service Providers, or ISPs) to invest in faster networks without pricing to recover those investments.  Their wish for cheaper delivery of content to their customers is hidden behind a populist chorus of “keep the Internet free” and “refrain from blocking or degrading websites.”  Some are going further calling on old public utility style regulations for Internet companies. Read More…

Free-Market Advocates’ Comments to FCC, Opposing Internet Regulation

July 15, 2014

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of  Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet

GN Docket No. 14-28

Comments of

Free-Market Advocates Opposed to Internet Regulation

For 10 years officials at the Federal Communications Commission have told Americans that the Internet will “break” unless the agency steps in to keep it “free and open.”  All the while, the Internet’s privately driven development has been vibrant, relentless and universal.  Nevertheless, at points during this same period the Commission twice sought to encumber the Internet with restrictive common carrier-like, Net Neutrality regulations.  In response to each of these actions, the DC Circuit twice struck down the agency’s overreach.  In the latest DC Circuit ruling – Verizon v. FCC[1] – the Court struck down the main thrust of the Commission’s arguments, but found that the Commission had some authority under Section 706 of the Communications Act.   The Commission has apparently undertaken the present Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to once again establish a regulatory regime in the absence of a market failure or a clear Congressional grant of authority.

The Internet is “free and open,” making the vast “network of networks” an integral engine for societal growth, participatory democracy and global commerce.  Its healthy development came primarily through the lack of government regulation, not because of it.  Although the Court seems to have offered the FCC a very narrow pathway to impose some form of Net Neutrality regulation on the Internet, nothing demands that the FCC go forward with its present plans.

Read More…

IFC Reply Comments to FCC: Title II Reclassification Unjustified, Unnecessary

August 12, 2010

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of Framework for Broadband Internet Service                    

GN Docket No. 10-127

FCC Docket No. 10-114

 Reply Comments

of the Undersigned Members of the

INTERNET FREEDOM COALITION

Introduction

The Commission is being asked by Free Press and other organizations to pursue a radical course of action – reclassifying information services as telecommunications services in order to regulate the Internet for the first time.  We write to urge the Commission to keep the Internet free of new government regulation and taxation and to refrain from rushing into such a potentially disastrous course of action.

Analysts are only beginning to grasp the extent of the disruptive and destructive consequences of regulating the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act, and the Commission is in no position to predict the outcome, much less assure Americans it will be positive.  Americans have heard political leaders admit that we will not know the full extent or nature of massive health care and financial services regulations until after the underlying legislation has been passed.  Now, Americans are facing the imposition of an even lesser-understood regulatory regime over the Internet without the benefit of any legislative process whatsoever.

CLICK HERE FOR PDF

IFC Supplemental Reply Comments: FCC Lacks Authority, Justification for Reclassifying Internet as Title II Service

April 26, 2010

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
Preserving the Open Internet              GN Docket No. 09-191                                  
Broadband Industry Practices            WC Docket No. 07-52

Supplemental Reply Comments of the Internet Freedom Coalition

Just two days prior to the Commission’s deadline for reply comments regarding the above Notice of Proposed Rulemakings, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in Comcast v. FCC that the Commission has no authority to enact Net Neutrality rules.  The deadline for comments was extended, particularly to facilitate discussion of other methods of promulgating Net Neutrality regulations.

 Beginning with comments on the National Broadband Plan filed by Public Knowledge in January, a small number of organizations have since proposed classifying the Internet as a Title II common carrier service as a way of asserting the Commission’s authority to enact Net Neutrality regulations.  The Internet Freedom Coalition respectfully submits these reply comments in strong opposition to any effort to reclassify the Internet as a Title II service.

Read More…

IFC Reply Comments to FCC: Refuting Free Press’ Arguments for Regulating the Internet

April 26, 2010

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                                           
Preserving the Open Internet                      GN Docket No. 09-191
Broadband Industry Practices                    WC Docket No. 07-52

Reply Comments of the Internet Freedom Coalition

The following comments are submitted by the undersigned members of the Internet Freedom Coalition.  They are submitted in reply to comments filed by proponents of Network Neutrality regulations, and are attributable only to the signatories.

Read More…

Internet Freedom Coalition Comments to the FCC, Opposing Network Neutrality Regulations

February 23, 2010

Before the

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

Washington, DC 20554

In the Matter of
Preserving the Open Internet,                 GN Docket No. 09-191
Broadband Industry Practices                WC Docket No. 07–52; FCC 09–93
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

 Comments of the Internet Freedom Coalition

 Introduction

 The Internet Freedom Coalition is an ad hoc coalition of organizations and individuals committed to the continued growth and improvement of the Internet, who believe regulations and taxes are harmful to those ends. The Internet Freedom Coalition believes that a free and open Internet is beneficial, but argues that regulatory intervention in the well-functioning marketplace that has thus far produced a vast, free and open network would unnecessarily limit the current and future supply of bandwidth, and would harm both producers and consumers. These comments are attributable only to the individual signatories.

Read More…

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