WASHINGTON D.C. — Yesterday, TechFreedom filed comments with the FCC following the Mozilla court’s narrow remand of discrete issues in the Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIFO), in the latest round of the net neutrality debate.
TechFreedom General Counsel Jim Dunstan issued the following statement:
“The Mozilla court upheld the FCC’s power to reclassify Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS) as an information (Title I) service, restoring the regulatory status of BIAS that had been in place since the dawn of the Internet until the FCC’s 2015 Order. The FCC need not, and should not, reconsider this fundamental aspect of its 2018 Order. The issues subject to remand are very narrow, and the FCC’s charge is only to better explain the impact of the return to Title I regulation on public safety, pole attachments, and the Lifeline program. That bar is very low and the FCC should have no problem explaining three points:
- Broadband access has been supported by the Lifeline program since 2011, long before the FCC’s 2015 Order. Reclassifying BIAS as an information service had virtually no impact on the ability of Lifeline recipients to receive support for broadband access.
- The Communications Act’s requirements mandating reasonable access for pole attachments are technologically agnostic: they refer to service providers, not the services they provide. Changing the regulatory status of BIAS impacted only a very small subset of BIAS providers.
- The benefits of a light-touch regulatory regime that spurs investment in driving broadband deeper into rural America far outweigh the largely hypothetical (and possibly manufactured) horror stories raised on appeal by public safety providers. The service plans purchased by the vast majority of public safety operators are enterprise-level contracts, not mass-market BIAS plans — and thus have never been subject to the FCC’s rules. Public safety operators both need, and deserve, plans that give them more than “best efforts” broadband access; they need priority over other users in the time of emergency, the exact opposite of classic net neutrality.
We are confident that the FCC will be able to issue a Further Report and Order that will be sustained in the inevitable appeal. And in the meantime, we hope Congress will finally get its act together and craft legislation that codifies the core concepts of net neutrality agreed to by all sides for at least a decade.”
See our other work on net neutrality, including:
- Our petition for certiorari and other major filings in this case
- Our amicus brief in pending litigation over the FCC’s 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order
- Tech Policy Podcast #172: The Future of Internet Regulation (w/ FCC Chairman Ajit Pai)
- Our statement on the need for a legislative compromise over net neutrality
- Our statement on the D.C. Circuit’s denial of rehearing.
- Our statement on our appeal over the DC Circuit’s decision upholding Title II reclassification
- A summary of our opening brief challenging the FCC’s order
Our statement on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Upholding FCC’s Refusal of Broad Internet Powers