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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2010
2:31 PM

CONTACT: Free Press

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 - April 6 - 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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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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