FCC Opens Docket, Accepting Court Invite to Preserve an Open Internet

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2014-02-19 Print this article Print

Likening the docket to the movie "Groundhog Day," Pai wrote, "I am skeptical that this effort will end any differently from the last. ... The Internet was free and open before the FCC adopted net neutrality rules. It remains free and open today. Net neutrality has always been a solution in search of a problem."

White House Responds to Americans' Call to Action

On Feb. 18, the White House responded to a petition calling for President Obama to protect net neutrality by classifying ISPs as common carriers.

"[The court] ruling allows ISPs to charge companies for access to its users and charge users for access to certain services. Fewer companies will be able to afford access for innovative ideas and products," stated the petition on Whitehouse.gov, which was signed by more than 105,000 people.

When a minimum of 100,000 people sign a petition on the site, the White House is obligated to respond.

"Preserving an open Internet is vital not to just the free flow of information, but also to promoting innovation and economic productivity," Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for economic policy, and Todd Park, an assistant to the president and the CTO of the United States, wrote in an official response.

"Absent net neutrality, the Internet could turn into a high-priced private toll road that would be inaccessible to the next generation of visionaries," they continued. "The resulting decline in the development of advanced online apps and services would dampen demand for broadband and ultimately discourage investment in broadband infrastructure. An open Internet removes barriers to investment worldwide."

Sperling and Park added that Obama has publicly supported net neutrality, and more lightly suggested that reclassifying ISPs wasn't exactly the president's job.

"Chairman Wheeler has publicly pledged to use the full authority granted by Congress to maintain a robust, free and open Internet—a principle that this White House vigorously supports," they wrote.

Establishing the docket, the FCC added that parties may continue to submit formal or informal complaints regarding violations to the transparency rule, which "helps consumers make informed choices about their broadband service." Informal complaints may be filed on the FCC site, where instructions can also be found for filing a formal complaint.


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