Expert Voices Speak Out on Net Neutrality

From across the political spectrum and from communities across America, policy experts are lending their voices to the debate over net neutrality. The following are comments from filings with the FCC in July 2017, in response to its proposal to return the U.S. to the bipartisan, light-touch regulatory framework for governing the internet by those who know best about what works for unleashing the power of innovation on the internet.

  • National Association of Manufacturers: “While we strongly support the Commission’s current efforts the NAM firmly believes it is necessary for Congress to act in this matter to make the internet permanently open.”
  • “The Communications Workers of America and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) support action by the Federal Communications Commission to adopt strong, legally enforceable rules to safeguard an open Internet and to give the highest priority to investment and job creation.”
  • League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC): “The FCC and Congress need to act now to protect the promise of a diverse and open Internet. Rather than limit your deliberations as to whether Network Neutrality Rules should be enforced through Title II or with a light touch, the FCC must question whether the existing rules are working as advertised or whether the Internet is fast becoming the most significant 21st century barrier to opportunity for low income and diverse Americans.”
  • CALInnovates: “The Commission should withdraw the Title II Order and vigorously work with the Congress for the enactment of new legislation to strike the proper balance between governing the Internet where necessary and permitting and encouraging innovation.”
  • Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council and coalition of national multicultural organizations: “A comprehensive legislative solution is the only means to put an end to the regulatory see-saw that destabilizes markets, inhibits innovation, and depresses job growth.”
  • Apple: “Apple remains open to alternative sources of legal authority, but only if they provide for strong, enforceable, and legally sustainable protections, like those in place today.”
  • App Developers Alliance: “We encourage Congress to take on the task of debating the benefits and costs of those options, as well as creative and pragmatic new proposals, and to move swiftly toward a permanent set of rules that ensure a fair and open internet while promoting innovation and investment.”
  • Americans for Tax Reform and Digital Liberty-led Coalition: “We write to voice our support for returning the Internet to the light touch regulatory approach that allowed the Internet to take off…The Internet should be policed just like every other sector of the economy — through consumer protection and competition laws that apply equally to broadband providers, web companies, and nearly every other business in America.
  • Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP) & MANA (National Latina Organization): “We remain committed to a straightforward policy with broad-based, bipartisan support, in contrast to the existing Title II utility framework that can hurt low income consumers, particularly Latinos stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide.”
  • Information Technology and Innovation Foundation“Legislation certainly would be preferred—it would bring certainty and stability to this important sector of the economy.”
  • United Spinal Association: “Thank you for your support of a light regulatory framework… Increased investment in this type of service can help bridge the digital divide for rural and low-income consumers, including consumers with disabilities, with higher speeds and more competition for all consumers, as well as more affordable prices.”
  • California Technology Association: “A course correction is needed, and we believe the Commission’s proposal is a good start to getting back on track. Returning to the longstanding, successful “light touch” approach to internet regulation will remove barriers that are holding investment back”
  • Technology Policy Institute: “Economic analysis and U.S. history with Title II-style, common carrier, regulation strongly suggest that the 2015 OIO will be detrimental to innovation and to the development of both infrastructure and edge investment.”
  •  U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “The Chamber believes that the best way to ensure that net neutrality coexists with a broadband industry not treated like a public utility is for Congress to permanently codify net neutrality protections while classifying broadband as an “information service” to be regulated by the FTC. Congress should provide clarity and the final world on the governance of broadband.”
  • Larry Downes, Georgetown University: “By correcting the 2015 Order’s cardinal error, the FCC can restore regulatory equilibrium to the dynamic Internet ecosystem based on the technology-neutral, pro-innovation approach prescribed by the 1996 Act. Undoing reclassification will once again permit maximum innovation with the lowest possible risk of unintended consequences from well-intentioned but inherently slower and costly regulatory interventions. … Congress, likewise, may be nudged into passing legislation that places Open Internet principles on firmer legal ground.”
  • American Conservative Union“The strongest legal footing for net neutrality rules isn’t Title II; it’s Congressional action.”
  • National Taxpayers Union: “Ultimately, while the FCC’s efforts with this rulemaking process are critical, the ideal solution to this ongoing problem must come from Congress. Democrat and Republican-led FCC’s will endlessly go back and forth on the preferred method of regulation of the Internet. Lawmakers in Congress can stop this swinging pendulum by codifying into law an Internet free of outdated regulations.”
  • Taxpayers Protection Alliance: “Rather than continue the back and forth at the FCC, the best solution for providing clarity is for Congress to pass legislation that provides clear consumer protections and eliminates the possibility of the regulatory overreach pursued in the Title II Order.”
  • Center for Individual Freedom: “Net neutrality should be protected on its own, without the damaging overhang of Title II. The simplest way to accomplish that is for Congress to pass a straightforward net neutrality statute that would protect the open internet and return certainty and stability to the internet sector after years of needless debate and regulatory back-and-forth uncertainty.”
  • R Street Institute: “Ideally, Congress will soon resolve the policy battle over broadband regulation by passing new legislation.”
  • Comcast: “Without question, the best long-term approach to ending the continual game of regulatory “ping pong” that has beset the Internet ecosystem is for Congress to enact bipartisan legislation permanently codifying key open Internet protections—in a way that ensures that consumers are protected while promoting continued investment and innovation in broadband.”
  • Telecommunications Industry Association: “Classification of broadband Internet access services as a common carrier “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act discourages investment in the network – investment that is critical to bringing more access to more people and fostering the ecosystem of innovation relying on the network.”