Mobile Future

Net Neutrality Day of Action

Today, Mobile Future Chief Public Policy Advisor Robert M. McDowell sent a letter to lawmakers, outlining Mobile Future’s recommendations for protecting an open Internet with legislation. Mobile Future supports net neutrality and its core principles but tying net neutrality to the outdated provisions in Title II of the Communications Act stifles the foundational aspects of a free and open Internet. Please see the letter below that was sent to Senate Commerce, Science and Technology Committee Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Walden and Ranking Member Pallone, and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Blackburn and Ranking Member Doyle: 

Mobile Future supports net neutrality and its core principles that prevent blocking and throttling of Internet content. But tying net neutrality to the outdated provisions in Title II of the Communications Act is wrongheaded and is stifling the innovation, economic growth and job creation that are hallmarks of an open Internet.

As you may be aware, July 12 has been dubbed as an “Internet-wide day of action” by some of the most vocal opponents of the recent attempts by Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to roll back the FCC’s 2015 intrusive regulations. These well-organized interest groups claim to be protecting an open Internet but really they are seeking to maintain a harmful regulatory structure which is ill-suited for something as important and dynamic as the Internet.

The Internet has been one of the chief driving forces for the U.S economy, with experts estimating that developing technologies and business models could add about $2.7 trillion to the U.S. GDP annually by 2031.[1] However, the unprecedented 2015 FCC vote to regulate broadband as a public utility created tremendous uncertainty and jeopardized the future of crucial investments in America’s broadband infrastructure.

Mobile Future and other forward-thinking groups, companies and individuals want to protect the open Internet with legislation, to make net neutrality the law of the land so that it can continue to be a critical vehicle to drive innovation, create jobs, increase competition, and spur economic growth. Doing so would avoid the harmful consequences of the ill-fitting Title II approach, and would provide helpful regulatory certainty that would protect the open Internet without undermining our broadband future.

The history of net neutrality is a long and arduous one, and while Mobile Future supports FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s attempts to restore rationality to the regulations, we believe it is up to Congress to pass legislation that enshrines open Internet principles into law and ends the net neutrality regulatory ping pong at the FCC once and for all.

Sincerely,

Robert M. McDowell

[1] Mandel, Michael, and Bret Swanson. The Coming Productivity Boom: Transforming the Physical Economy with Information. March 2017.