Tuesday, July 11, 2017 – 9:30am
RE: WC Docket No. 17-108; Restoring Internet FreedomDear Ms. Dortch:
We, the undersigned organizations and trade associations, thank the Commission for taking a leadership role in restoring internet freedom. We believe that it is possible to have a free and open internet without treating broadband like a public utility under Title II of the rotary-phone era Communications Act of 1934.
Prior to the Commission’s 2015 reclassification of broadband providers as common carriers under Title II, the internet and innovation thrived. The digital economy flourished in the decade before Title II, and consumers enjoyed revolutionary technologies such as streaming on-demand video, smartphone apps, the internet of things, and telemedicine. These technologies came as the result of innovation that did not need the assistance of heavy-handed regulatory frameworks.
Unfortunately, since the FCC’s 2015 decision to treat broadband like a public utility, investment in broadband has declined. Classification of broadband under Title II has granted the Commission authority to micromanage the business practices of broadband providers. This regulatory regime creates an environment that hinders much needed capital investment in new technology and infrastructure, which could create new jobs and provide for smart infrastructure development, promoting public safety, energy efficiency, and education.
The Commission and Congress should enact policies that promote a thriving, open, and innovative internet that encourages economic growth while removing the archaic Title II public utility-style regulation of broadband.
(See letter for list of sign-ons)