Court Decision Endangers FCC's Ability to Protect Net Neutrality and Implement National Broadband Plan

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Liz Rose, Free Press, 202-265-1490 x 32

Court Decision Endangers FCC's Ability to Protect Net Neutrality and Implement National Broadband Plan

FCC Can and Must Act Quickly to Close the Bush Era Loophole

WASHINGTON - S. Derek Turner, research director for Free Press, made the following statement in response to the DC Circuit's opinion in Comcast v. FCC:

"The decision has forced the FCC into an existential crisis, leaving
the agency unable to protect consumers in the broadband marketplace,
and unable to implement the National Broadband Plan. As a result of
this decision, the FCC has virtually no power to stop Comcast from
blocking Web sites. The FCC has virtually no power to make policies to
bring broadband to rural America, to promote competition, to protect
consumer privacy or truth in billing. This cannot be an acceptable
outcome for the American public and requires immediate FCC action to
re-establish legal authority.

"This crisis is not a result of a weak congressional law, but a
direct consequence of the previous two Commissions' misguided and
overzealous attempts to completely deregulate America's communications
networks. Past FCC actions created a huge loophole in the law that
leaves the agency unable to protect consumer privacy or promote
universal broadband access.

"The FCC must have the authority to carry out its consumer
protection and public interest mission in the 21st-century broadband
marketplace. The current Commission did not create this existential
crisis, but it now has no choice but to face these tough jurisdictional
questions head on, and do what is necessary to protect consumers and
promote competition."

Link to the court's decision: http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/common/opinions/201004/08-1291-1238302.pd...

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