Recently, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he would open a proceeding to revisit the question of whether Congress directed the FCC to regulate the internet using the regulatory framework adopted in 1934 for the monopoly-era telephone networks. To be clear, this proceeding is not about whether the open internet will continue to be protected and preserved. That question has been asked and answered repeatedly and in the affirmative by Democratic and Republican administrations alike for well over a decade, first with the FCC Commissioners Michael Powell and Martin Principles, then with the FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's Open Internet Order.
As Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, stated:
“AT&T continues to support the fundamental tenets of net neutrality. And we remain committed to open internet protections that are fair and equal for everyone.
“The bipartisan, light-touch regulatory approach that Congress established at the internet’s inception brought American consumers unparalleled investment in broadband infrastructure, created jobs and fueled economic growth. It was illogical for the FCC in 2015 to abandon that light-touch approach and instead regulate the internet under an 80-year-old law designed to set rates for the rotary-dial-telephone era.
“We applaud FCC Chairman Pai’s initiative to remove this stifling regulatory cloud over the internet. Businesses large and small will have a clearer path to invest more in our nation’s broadband infrastructure under Chairman Pai’s leadership. And we are hopeful that bipartisan agreement can be reached on principles that protect internet openness, consumer choice and vibrant competition.”
Read more about this issue on our Public Policy Blog: The real debate over the open internet.
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