The Internetʼs extraordinary success stems directly from its openness to independent innovators and speakers. But in the absence of an appropriate policy framework, broadband Internet access providers could act in ways that substantially undermine the mediumʼs openness. The FCC has taken a good first step toward crafting this policy framework, but CDT’s comments set out several ways the FCC’s approach needs to be modified and improved.
First, the FCC needs to make sure that the framework rests on a jurisdictional basis that is narrow and targeted, so that it does not pave the way for broader government regulation of Internet matters in the future. Then, the FCC needs to clarify and tighten the definitions of key concepts like “non-discrimination,” “reasonable network management,” and “managed services.” The FCC should also provide more guidance on the kind of transparency it expects from network operators.
With these steps the FCC’s proceeding presents an opportunity to ensure that the dynamic growth and innovation seen on the Internet in the past 15 years can continue.