Following up on its February workshop
, the FTC recently released its report on Broadband Connectivity Competition Policy
. CDT believes the report provides a generally balanced and comprehensive view of the Internet neutrality debate. We agree with the Commission that proceeding with caution and developing an in-depth understanding of the broadband marketplace are both essential to developing the appropriate policy in this area. However, as FTC Commissioner Jon Leibowitz noted in his concurring statement
, the FTC's conclusions about the adequacy of current law in addressing neutrality concerns are somewhat off-target.
The report explains the FTC's view that the FTC's authority to pursue both consumer protection and antitrust enforcement, together with existing FCC and DoJ jurisdiction, can sufficiently address current neutrality concerns. While this may be true in the consumer protection arena -- where the FTC has authority over such issues as disclosure of prioritization practices to broadband Internet customers and the potential privacy issues raised by Internet packet inspection - it is less apparent with regards to antitrust. Moreover, in any event, it is not clear that consumer protection and antitrust principles taken together would address all potential neutrality concerns.
As CDT has pointed out in recent comments
to the FCC, ISPs may engage in a wide range of packet management practices.
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