Dear Chairman Wheeler: You Don’t Protect Net Neutrality by Allowing Online Discrimination

Contact Info: 

Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838

WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler defended his proposal to allow Internet service providers to charge extra fees to content companies for preferential treatment.

In a blog post on the FCC website, Wheeler claims that the many critics of his plan are “misinformed.” He also indicated that a January court ruling against the FCC left the agency with very limited options to prevent this online discrimination.

Chairman Wheeler will make the case for his approach later today, during a keynote address in Los Angeles at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association’s Cable Show.

Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:

"Tom Wheeler still doesn’t get it. People aren’t flooding his phone lines and filling his in-box because they’re confused about his proposal. They understand all too well that his plan would create a pay-to-prioritize Internet with fast lanes for the few. There’s a better way to protect the public, and Chairman Wheeler’s excuses for not taking that path aren’t convincing anyone.

“If the chairman truly wants to do right by the Internet and avoid losing another costly court battle, he should follow the letter of the Communications Act, exercise the FCC’s clear authority and reclassify Internet service providers as common carriers. It’s not only the most sensible and courageous approach, it’s also the quickest way to bring a final resolution to this issue. And it’s the only approach that puts the needs of Internet users first.

“The future of the open Internet can’t rest on the supposed good intentions of one chairman. Internet users and innovators need the certainty that comes with common carriage, not Wheeler’s ‘just trust me’ approach to stopping harmful behavior from providers.

“Mr. Wheeler needs to realize that the push for reclassification is about much more than Net Neutrality. Title II isn’t something that he holds in his back pocket to use at a later date. It’s the law Congress intended to apply to these vital services, so that users would be free to communicate without unjust online discrimination.”

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good