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Cybersecurity & Standards, Free Expression, Open Internet

CDT’s 2017 Net Neutrality Reply Comments

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) has advocated for strong open internet protections to encourage innovation and facilitate greater communication. In that spirit, we appreciated the opportunity to express our concerns regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) put forth by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to roll back the net neutrality protections implemented under the Open Internet Order of 2015 (OIO).

In these reply comments, we respond to some of the claims raised by other commenters to support the NPRM. More specifically, we seek to clarify three underlying legal and policy misconceptions, focusing on assertions regarding the nature of the services provided by internet service providers (ISPs) and the scope of the relevant laws and regulations. First, we explain that the OIO does not restrict the use or development of non-BIAS offerings. Second, we demonstrate that the fact that ISPs “offer” services bundled with internet access does not change the fact that they mostly provide pure transmission. And finally, we illustrate that the classification of Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS) as a telecommunications service does not necessitate the similar reclassification of edge providers with physical infrastructure.