The FCC has again taken up net neutrality rules. In recent weeks, tech giants including Google, Amazon, and AOL have spent untold sums of money lobbying on Congress on the issue of net neutrality, on the heels of a third effort by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to write new rules governing the internet. On May 15, 2014, the FCC released the proposed new rules that would give it the authority to regulate web traffic in a “commercially reasonable” manner, in much the same way public utilities are regulated.
Now, the director of the maligned agency is before Congress defending the new rules, which were purportedly designed to protect the “openness” of the internet. On May 15, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler testified before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. According to the Wall Street Journal, Wheeler testified that, “there is one Internet. Everybody ought to have open, equal access to the capacity delivered by the Internet.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were ready to defend their positions. Republicans fear regulation as a burden on economic growth for business. They are also concerned about the possibility of the FCC regulating the Internet like a public utility. Said Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, “The Internet has flourished under the current light touch regulatory scheme and subjecting it to burdensome regulations is a leap in the wrong direction.” Democrats were more concerned with low-income consumers and increases in rates for broadband access. California Democrat Doris Matsui expressed concerns about consumer pricing and access. Said Matsui, “I support a ban on paid prioritization deals. We can’t afford a two-tiered Internet system.”
The new rules are currently in a public comment period. If your business would like to weigh in on the new rules, you can visit the FCC website and provide your comments.
Experienced litigator James J. (“Jim”) Thomas II is ready to help Georgia businesses defend their business reputations and intellectual property rights with the latest business litigation tools. Jim has more than 35 years of courtroom experience in the Atlanta area, and can handle complex business litigation as well as analysis, evaluation, and resolution of existing and potential litigation. For a free consultation, email Jim, or give him a call at 404-869-5248, or go to http://www.litigationatlanta.com.