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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:

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Free Press does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at

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