Pro-net neutrality advocates are rallying across the country today for a “Day of Action.” The event has already drawn the support of tech giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, which have backed the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Media Justice, MoveOn.org, and others participating in the event. The Day of Action has also drawn responses from internet service providers, which applauded the advocates’ enthusiasm, but used the spotlight to highlight a different approach to keeping an open internet.
In a blog post, Comcast Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer David Cohen says the operator wants to reinforce its support for “permanent, strong, legally enforceable net neutrality rules.” But Cohen claims definitive protections must come from Congress, rather than being implemented patchwork style by the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission.
“You can have strong and enforceable open internet protections without relying on rigid, innovation-killing utility regulation that was developed in the 1930s (Title II),” Cohen writes. “We’ll be filing comments at the FCC next week with a lot of detail on how net neutrality rules can continue to survive without the FCC using ill-suited and outdated regulations, but ultimately, we believe the best way to end the game of regulatory ping pong that has been played in the net neutrality space for the past decade, would be for Congress to act and give clear legal authority and legislative direction. In the end, bipartisan legislation is the best course to pursue – putting in place strong, permanent, and legally enforceable net neutrality rules that fully protect consumers, while fostering growth, investment, innovation, and deployment of broadband to all Americans.”
Similarly, Verizon lauds the passion of net neutrality advocates, but says “slogans and rhetoric” have yet to yield a “permanent and predictable” framework for an open internet. An answer, the company indicates, must come from Congress.
“We respectfully suggest that real action will involve people coming together to urge Congress to pass net neutrality legislation once and for all,” Will Johnson, Verizon SVP of Federal Regulatory and Legal Affairs adds. “The internet is too important to have policies that change with each election …We encourage all the participants in today’s Day of Action to join us in urging Congress to bring this decade-long issue to a close. Open internet protections deserve to be written in ink, not pencil.”
Filed Under: Industry regulations