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U.N. hands off the internet

October 22, 2014

by The Washington Times
washingtontimes.com

International bureaucrats have schemed for years to put the Internet under the thumb of the United Nations. President Obama rightly tells them to knock it off, and we applaud him for it. He ought to send the same message to his chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

Regulators from across the world gather this week in South Korea, where proposals are circulating at a meeting of the International Telecommunications Union to entrust oversight of Internet services to the United Nations. The Obama administration’s assurances sound refreshingly cogent. Read More…

A light-handed approach to the Internet, not regulation

October 20, 2014

By Thomas M. Lenard
The Hill

I had thought that, at the end of the day, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would pull back from subjecting broadband to public utility-type regulation by reclassifying it as a Title II telecommunications service. I couldn’t imagine that Chairman Tom Wheeler and his colleagues would want regulating the Internet to be their legacy.

But now I’m not so sure. Read More…

OnStar owner General Motors sides with wireless carriers in net neutrality battle with FCC

October 20, 2014

by Mike Dano
Fierce Wireless

The wireless industry earned a major supporter in its net neutrality battle with the FCC as OnStar owner General Motors issued a strong appeal for looser open Internet rules for wireless operators.

“We’ve observed assertions that under the same rules for fixed and mobile networks, certain defined exceptions for ‘reasonable network management’ for mobile broadband providers can provide the necessary flexibility,” wrote Harry Lightsey III, the executive director of GM’s Global Connected Consumer, in a letter to the FCC. “From our point of view, mobile broadband being delivered to a car moving at 75 mph down the highway–or for that matter, stuck in a massive spontaneous traffic jam–is a fundamentally different phenomenon from a wired broadband connection to a consumer’s home, and merits continued consideration under distinct rules that take this into account.” Read More…

Net neutrality: Lessons from energy regulation

October 20, 2014

By Naimish Patel and Hemant Taneja
The Hill

The FCC’s “Net Neutrality” proposal to allow for Internet fast lanes has sparked a debate over how to ensure a free and open Internet while incentivizing continued innovation. One of the reasons this debate captures people’s imagination is it seems like a new problem we’ve never had to deal with before. It’s not, and we have.

The FCC can learn a lot from how the country has dealt with energy regulation. Read More…

FCC Should Keep Its Hands Off The Internet, If It Wants Competition

October 17, 2014

by Michael K. Powell
Forbes

Federal Communications Commission Chair Tom Wheeler recently made an important speech focusing on the importance of competition in achieving our national broadband goals.

Competition has been at the core of communications policy in the modern era. But that was not always the case. In the last century, the government eschewed competition, believing that telecommunications was a “natural monopoly” and that competition was not feasible. The government worked to protect consumers from monopolistic harm through heavy common carriage regulation rather than encouraging competition. Read More…

Section 10 forbearance offers no easy path to ‘Title II Lite’

October 22, 2014

Lawrence J. Spiwak
The Hill

As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) struggles to write new net neutrality rules, the agency is coming under increasing political pressure to reclassify broadband Internet access as a “common carrier” telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act. To make this radical reversal of policy palatable, many proponents of reclassification argue that the FCC can use its authority under Section 10 of the Communications Act to forbear from select portions of the statute. Unfortunately, once the law is properly understood, forbearance isn’t the silver bullet that makes Title II reclassification “easy peasy,” as they say. Read More…

Who’s winning the broadband race?

October 22, 2014

Richard Bennett
American Enterprise Institute

The impact of broadband policy models on the quality of the networks that enable us to use the Internet is a background question in many current controversies, such as the FCC’s net neutrality rulemaking. If America’s networks are first-rate, there’s no need to change the way they’re regulated; as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But if we’re lagging behind our competitors, we certainly can benefit from a close examination of the factors that have contributed to their success.

Too often, however, enthusiasts simply skim the surface of broadband statistics on speed and price and reach erroneous conclusions. While it certainly is the case that a dozen or so nations score higher than the US on speed tests, it’s Read More…

Are We Really Saving the Open Internet?

October 22, 2014

Gerald Faulhaber and David Farber
Technology Review

Demands for network neutrality have reached fever pitch in Washington, D.C., as many voices stress the need for the Federal Communications Commission to save our open Internet. They claim that broadband Internet service providers can block data flow from selected websites, charging content providers for delivering content to customers and establishing paid “fast lanes” for some and slow lanes for everyone else (see “The Right Way to Fix the Internet”). Is the Internet suddenly in great danger? Read More…

Tax Consequences of Net Neutrality

October 22, 2014

by Hance Haney
Technology Liberation Front

Would the Federal Communications Commission expose broadband Internet access services to tax rates of at least 16.6% of every dollar spent on international and interstate data transfers—and averaging 11.23% on transfers within a particular state and locality—if it reclassifies broadband as a telecommunications service pursuant to Title II of the Communications Act of 1934?

As former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth notes in a recent Forbes column, the Internet Tax Freedom Act only prohibits state and local taxes on Internet access.  It says nothing about federal user fees.  The House Energy & Commerce Committee report accompanying the “Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act” (H.R. 3086) makes this distinction clear. Read More…

Open Internet and the Law, or Removing the Cart from Afore the Horse

October 21, 2014

by Gus Hurwitz
The Free State Foundation

I had the privilege of participating in one – the last, in fact – of the FCC’s Open Internet
Roundtables, this one styled, “Internet Openness and the Law.” In this paper, I will offer some perspectives on this particular Roundtable and comment briefly on a few key points raised in other roundtables.
The central question presented to our panel was the appropriate legal authority for the
Commission’s Open Internet rules. In other words: Section 706, Title II, neither, both, or
something else? My response was to question the hypothetical: until we know the rules’ purpose, we can’t speak to the appropriate authority. Asking about the appropriate legal authority for the rules assumes we know the problems the rules are supposed to address. It is unclear today what sort of conduct would violate Open Internet principles, both because it’s unclear what those principles are and what the corresponding conduct is. Both Section 706 and Title II offer broad, different, but limited authority. Either, neither, or both could conceivably be the appropriate tool to respond to a hypothetical violation of the rules; either, neither, or both could also be an inappropriate tool. Read More…

Utility Regulation Will Make the Internet Rusty

October 10, 2014

Mike Wendy
Media Freedom

No one loves their public utilities. They’re slow, unresponsive to change, and only just good enough for government work, which isn’t saying much.

If you’d talk to progressives working in the Internet space, though, you’d hear a different story. They think that utilities, and the 19th Century regulation used to control them, are the greatest things since sliced bread.  You see, they want to make private U.S. broadband providers public utilities, and radical groups like Free Press, Public Knowledge and MoveOn.org have pulled out all of the stops to get the Federal Communications Commission to do so.

Why? Read More…

Free State Foundation Comments

September 17, 2014

by Free State Foundation

On the issue of            )           AT&T and Direct TV merger

COMMENTS OF
THE FREE STATE FOUNDATION*
I. Introduction and Summary
These comments are filed in response to the Commission’s request for comments
concerning the agency’s review of the transfer of control of licenses in connection with the
proposed acquisition of DIRECTV by AT&T Inc. These comments do not endorse or oppose the
proposed merger. Rather, their purpose is to set out baseline principles by which the Commission
should evaluate this as well as other mergers and to provide a summary analysis of
AT&T/DIRECTV in light of those principles.
Mergers and acquisitions are competitive entrepreneurial activities 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…

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