Companies that provide access to the Internet should not be able to play favorites. For us, this is the definition of “Open Internet.” The term “net neutrality” is a component of an Open Internet. Recently, the FCC issued a rulemaking on net neutrality. We support that rulemaking. But unfortunately, much hard work protecting the currently Open Internet remains to be done. Those who have an economic or political interest in limiting access to the Internet will continue to press to close the Internet. These tools include court rooms, on Capitol Hill and regulatory agencies around the world. The small amount of ground gained in the past few years may be eroded without continued advocacy and vigilance.
The recent FCC rulemaking is an example of the need for advocacy and vigilance. As with all government regulations, there are many aspects of the FCC’s rulemaking that are subject to interpretation. The I2Coalition has identified issues associated with how the FCC’s order addresses several specific issues concerning treatment of discrete “applications” or content. It is not clear how this order will protect privacy and in particular encryption. We do not yet know exactly how the Commission will address and resolve disputes over what it calls “interconnection” and “traffic exchange” between ISPs, edge providers and other Internet players.Many important legal and technical specifics remain unclear, and will hopefully be fleshed out in the order and rules.
The FCC’s Open Internet order represents a success for our industry and we should all be pleased with it. However, those who oppose an open and fair Internet will not give up. We will continue to be leaders protecting gains we’ve recently made, and ensuring that access to the Internet remains as open as possible. We hope you will join us as we continue to fight for an open Internet, innovation, and customer choice.