Beckerman: “Internet companies and their users demand an open Internet, free of throttling, blocking, and other forms of discrimination online.”
Washington, DC – Today, the Internet Association filed an Amicus Curiae brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in support of the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order. This is the first time the Internet Association has commented on the specifics of the final FCC Open Internet Order.
The brief argues that the FCC properly used its authority to adopt rules that protect an open Internet. In previous filings, the Internet Association has maintained that the FCC should use all of its authority to create rules that prevent paid prioritization, blocking, and other forms of discrimination online. The Internet should continue to be a place where Internet companies can compete on an even playing field, and users, not broadband providers, pick winners and losers.
“Internet companies and their users demand an open Internet, free of throttling, blocking, and other forms of discrimination online. The FCC created strong, enforceable rules that prevent gatekeepers from censoring the Internet, and the Order should be upheld by the Court,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association.
In the brief, the Internet Association outlines why enforceable net neutrality rules are necessary to protect Internet users:
“ISPs have absolute control of the physical layer of their networks. That control, coupled with the fact that ‘all end users generally access the Internet through a single broadband provider,’ places them in the unique position of ‘gatekeeper’ with respect to edge providers that might seek to reach its end-user subscribers. This power ‘distinguishes broadband providers from other participants in the Internet marketplace … who have no similar ‘control [over] access to the Internet for their subscribers and for anyone wishing to reach those subscribers.’”
The brief also highlights the increasing importance of mobile broadband and the need to apply the net neutrality order to mobile broadband because it “is becoming a fundamental tool in bridging economic, educational, and social divides.” With more people accessing the Internet through their mobile device now than ever before, the need to ensure the equal treatment of content via mobile broadband has never been more imperative.
“There is only one Internet. Users expect to get what they pay for – access to an uncensored Internet regardless of how they connect,” said Beckerman. “The FCC Order correctly provides users on mobile broadband the same protections they expect connecting from their home or office. Upon reviewing the Order, we are encouraged that the FCC is also monitoring the points of interconnection that could be used to create a bottleneck that degrades a user’s Internet connection,” Beckerman concluded.
To view the brief, click here.