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Policy Issues
Testimony and Filings

ITIF Urges FCC to Proceed with Caution on Open Internet Rules


By Rob Atkinson and Richard Bennett
January 14, 2010

The FCC should proceed with caution in conducting its inquiry into Open Internet rules, according to comments filed by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation today. All the evidence suggests that the Internet is thriving: network operators are investing and new applications, devices, services, and content are emerging at a dizzying rate. While there is a need to clarify the confused state of Internet regulation in the United States, there’s no compelling public interest for the FCC to adopt a stringent new regulatory framework. The Commission would do well to follow the example of fellow regulators in Canada and Europe who have recently concluded that the most sensible course for national regulators is to emphasize disclosure of terms of service and scrutiny of business and technical practices.

ITIF rejects the argument that the FCC lacks jurisdiction to regulate the Internet, but urges the Commission to carefully consider the evidence before enacting new regulations on Internet access services. The Internet is a complex “virtual network” designed to serve a variety of needs, and as such it does not readily lend itself to traditional telecom regulatory models. The Internet requires regulators to take a fresh approach. The first step for the Commission is to conduct a fair and probing analysis about how the Internet works today.

ITIF applauds the Commission for committing to an open process and feels that careful examination will lead to the conclusion that the Internet is fundamentally healthy.

Read the filing