Free Press Urges FCC to Restore Broadband Oversight Authority

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Liz Rose, Communications Director, 202-265-1490 x 32

Free Press Urges FCC to Restore Broadband Oversight Authority

Agency Must Close Legal Loophole to Protect Consumers and Promote Innovation

WASHINGTON - In comments filed today with the Federal
Communications Commission, Free Press urges the agency to swiftly
implement Chairman Genachowski's proposal to re-establish a legal
framework that allows the Commission to set broadband policy, protect
consumers and promote innovation in the broadband marketplace.

S. Derek Turner,
research director of Free Press, said:

"Chairman Genachowski has
laid out the right plan to restore the Commission's authority over
broadband networks and provide a stable legal foundation for our
nation's most critical communications infrastructure. The agency needs
to move quickly to vote on the proposal, as any further delay leaves
millions of broadband customers without basic consumer protections and
threatens the future of the open Internet.

"The phone and cable
companies want the FCC to relinquish the agency's power to protect
consumers and to promote open, fast and affordable broadband Internet.
Without closing this legal loophole, broadband service providers will be
free to censor websites, stifle competition, and continue to ignore
underserved communities. The FCC can't build a national broadband policy
on a foundation of a failed legal experiment. If this FCC fails to act,
it will cause irrevocable harm to the public interest and jeopardize
America's long-term global economic prospects.

"Regardless of political
posturing and closed-door negotiations at the FCC, the Commission must
have the authority to enforce basic consumer protections.  Chairman
Genachowski should move swiftly to end the debate over legal definitions
and start the hard work of crafting policy that brings faster, more
affordable broadband service to millions of underserved households.

"The Third Way framework
proposed in the Commission's Notice of Inquiry will preserve the
Commission's ability to uphold the widely supported principles of
universal service, competition, interconnection, non-discrimination,
consumer protection and reasoned deregulation -  principles that led to 
the Internet revolution. The time for action is now, and the future of
the Internet is in Chairman Genachowski's hands."

Free Press' comments in the
Notice of Inquiry on reclassification can be seen in full here:
http://www.freepress.net/files/Reclassification.pdf

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net

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