Tech Innovation Group Proposes Internet Independence Day

Calling on Congress to Liberate 'Net From Title II

A group of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) pioneers and other tech types opposed to the FCC's decision to reclassify ISPs under Title II, including computer entrepreneur Mark Cuban, have sent an open letter to Congress. In it they ask Congress to declare April 30 Internet Independence Day to mark the anniversary of the April 30, 1995 "birth" of the commercial Internet (which is the date of the "decommissioning of the NSFNET backbone," they say).

The self-dubbed "tech innovators" also want that to be the day Congress launches a bipartisan effort to preserve "the private sector framework of the Internet" by throwing Title II regs into the equivalent of Boston harbor.

In the letter, to the leaders of both parties in the House and Senate committees and subcommittees overseeing the FCC and communications, they slam the FCC's Title II reclassification as ending the "permissionless innovation" of the Internet, saying the FCC "insertion of fiat regulatory powers will provide fatal to the entrepreneurial energies that built what chairman [Tom] Wheeler calls 'the most powerful network in the history of mankind.'"

They called for Congress to "reestablish" a bright line between legacy services subject to Title II and Internet services, a "rubicon" they say the FCC order crossed.

The letter is signed by VoIP pioneer Daniel Berninger (Bell Labs, Free World Dialup, Vonage), founder of the Voice Communication Exchange Committee, which is pushing for a speedy IP (HD voice) transition.

In addition to Cuban, other tech innovators include activist and former Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow, Brian Martin, chairman 8X8; and Jeff Pulver, cofounder of Zula and Vonage.