WASHINGTON—The Center for Democracy & Technology issued the following statement in response to reports that the FCC is poised to use its Title II authority to exercise limited jurisdiction over the Internet's "on ramps" — the physical transmission lines that people use to connect to the Internet:
"This is a crucial step in developing a telecommunications legal framework for the 21st century. The communications network that matters now is the Internet," said CDT President Leslie Harris. "It is rapidly becoming the central and indispensable platform for all types of communication and for all the free expression, commerce, and civic engagement that digital technologies enable," Harris said. "People and businesses are relying on the Internet for nearly everything — they need to be able access it on a nondiscriminatory basis."
"If this is done right, it will not amount to FCC regulation of the entire Internet," said CDT Senior Policy Counsel David Sohn. "Nor will it impose the old telephone regulatory framework, with its price regulation and tariff filings, on modern Internet access services," Sohn said. "It will simply mean that the principles of openness and nondiscrimination that have characterized the Internet since its beginning will be maintained and protected by federal policy."