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Friday, February 06, 2015

36 Leading Scholars to Federal Officials: Only the FCC Can Protect the Open Internet

36 Leading Scholars to Federal Officials: Only the FCC Can Protect the Open Internet | Center for Internet and Society: "Key take-aways include:

 This is the first letter by leading scholars that unequivocally supports a bright-line ban on all forms of paid prioritization (including zero-rating). The letter comes on the heels of the recent GOP bill that uses a much narrower definition of paid prioritization, banning only fees for prioritization, not for any other kind of preferential treatment.

The letter explains why the FCC is the right agency to adopt network neutrality rules that fully protect competition, innovation, and free speech online. In order to do so, the FCC must reclassify Internet access as a common carrier service under Title II of the Communications Act and forbear from unnecessary regulation under that statute.

 Some (including Republican FTC Commissioners Maureen Ohlhausen and Joshua Wright) argue that there is no need for network neutrality rules, because antitrust law addresses the problem of paid prioritization. The letter shows why antitrust enforcement alone is not enough.

The letter supports the complementary roles of the FCC and the FTC in protecting competition, promoting innovation, and safeguarding consumer interests online. Reclassifying broadband Internet access under Title II of the Communications Act could remove Internet service providers from FTC oversight. The letter supports repeal of the provision that exempts common carriers from FTC jurisdiction, so that the FTC can continue to protect Internet service providers’ consumers against unfair and deceptive practices and enforce the antitrust laws. However, given that the FCC will be able to effectively protect consumers under Title II even in the absence of FTC jurisdiction, efforts to repeal the common carrier exemption should not hold up the adoption of Open Internet rules under Title II next month." 'via Blog this'

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