Policy

ISP Group Arms for July 12 Protest

Says edge providers are off base on net neutrality 7/10/2017 10:00 AM Eastern

With the July 12 Title II Day of Action protest targeting ISPs getting a lot of attention, Broadband for America (BFA), which backs and includes those ISPs, was pushing back with a backgrounder on why Title II fans are off base.
 
BFA said that the protestors will claim that the FCC wants to end net neutrality, that Title II is the only way to preserve an open internet, and that ISPs oppose net neutrality. Wrong, wrong, and wrong says BFA.
 
It says ISPs strongly support an open internet and have pledged to support enforceable principles and legislation to permanently protect against "blocking or unreasonable discrimination."
 
BFA says that the current Title II regime las led to a $3.6 billion decrease in infrastructure investment and puts the entire 'net ecosystem at risk. While Title II fans say that is the only foolproof legal framework for protecting the 'net, BFA says legislation "can pass" that will protect it without the "burdens and problems" of utility regs.
 
"Between wired and wireless internet options, Americans can choose a variety of products and services that best meet their needs," said BFA. "Despite this fact, some of the country’s largest tech companies will continue advocating for utility regulations that apply only to ISPs, while they themselves can continue to prioritize web traffic and content without regulatory oversight. Instead, open internet principles should apply equally to everyone in the internet ecosystem."
 
Among companies the July 12 protest organizers say have joined them are Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Vimeo.
 
BFA members include AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter, CTIA – The Wireless Association, Comcast, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), and USTelecom Association.
 
ISPs have been pushing for bipartisan legislation that would "clarify" that internet access is not a Title II common carrier service and prevent blocking or throttling (paid prioritization is a greyer area).

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