Quartet of Democrats weighs in with FCC on net neutrality


Four key Democratic members of the House of Representatives have fired off a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski endorsing his “third way” approach to internet regulation. They urged him to stick to his guns and outlined four principles that should guide FCC policy.

The letter collaborators were Ed Markey (D-MA) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Mike Doyle (D-PA).

The letter was a reaction to a potential deal struck between Google and Verizon that the reps claim “…would result in significant changes to the way the Internet currently operates, including the potential that certain Internet content could be prioritized.”

Markey said, “No private interest should be permitted to carve up the Internet to suit its own purposes.  The open Internet has been an innovation engine that has helped power our economy, and fiber-optic fast lanes or tiers that slow down certain content would dim the future of the Internet to the detriment of consumers, competition, job creation and the free-flow of ideas.  In our letter, we express our strong support for Chariman Genachowski’s ‘Third Way’ proposal to bring the benefits of broadband to all Americans and encourage the FCC to move forward to preserve the free, open nature of the Internet.”

The four guiding principles the reps want are these:

1. The FCC must have oversight authority for broadband access services.

2. Paid prioritization would close the open Internet. 

3. Wired and wireless services should have a common regulatory framework and rules.

4. Broad “managed services” exceptions would swallow open Internet rules.

In the letter, the foursome concluded, “In sum, we believe that any rules that result from the Commission’s proceedings should focus on adherence to the public interest, discourage attempts to strangle the free-flow of lawful content, applications and services for American consumers and provide certainty both for entrepreneurs and Internet users. The time for FCC action is now. We look forward to continuing to work with you and other members of the Commission to ensure that the Commission’s Open Internet proceeding moves forward to protect the public interest.”