Washington, D.C. – Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) Co-Founder and Public Policy Chair David Snead released the following statement in conjunction with the coalition’s submission of comments on Net Neutrality to the Federal Communications Commission:
“The Internet thrives when a level playing field allows innovation to come from anyone with a good idea and the ability to act on it. Minimal barriers to entry encourage individual entrepreneurs, small businesses, and global companies to compete in the same arena.
“The most effective way for the Commission to protect and promote the Internet is to implement Open Access by reclassifying the broadband transmission component as a Title II telecommunications service. Although Net Neutrality rules attempt to alleviate the effects of an uncompetitive last mile by regulating broadband access, Open Access strikes at the heart of the problem by opening up the network to robust competition. Open Access would bring competition back to the Internet access market and consumer choice would be the primary safeguard against abusive and discriminatory network practices.
“Open Access was the Commission’s prevailing policy for over 40 years. The Commission’s decisions to classify broadband as an information service were based on predictions that competition and infrastructure investment would flourish without Open Access. Unfortunately, that has not been the case, so Open Access must be restored.
“Protecting the open Internet means establishing meaningful rules that stop discriminatory practices. Open Access would deter abuse through vibrant competition. For four decades, the Commission’s Open Access rules were the foundation of the information services market and they succeeded in fostering competition, preventing discrimination, and incentivizing network investment.
“A return to an Open Access policy would also help preserve privacy. Paid prioritization threatens Internet privacy because the only way that broadband access providers can proactively prioritize edge providers’ traffic is by monitoring the content of their users’ online communications. The Commission should not sanction a prioritization regime that requires Americans to sacrifice their privacy or that allows broadband providers to discriminate against encryption tools.
“The Commission should act swiftly to reinstitute Open Access rules to promote innovation and protect privacy.”