FCC Claims Dire Net Neutrality Predictions Are Unfounded

Open-Internet-opposing "big dogs" -- ISPs threatening to starve their investments in broadband networks -- are more bark than bite, according to comments made Friday by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler (pictured).

Since the FCC issued its ground-breaking Open Internet Order in March, such opponents' predictions about eroding incentives to invest have failed to materialize, he said. Wheeler made his remarks in a speech at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. During his talk, he also discussed the importance of continuing to develop the nation's broadband networks to ensure access to "everyone, everywhere."

The FCC's order on Net neutrality reclassified broadband providers as Title II "common carriers" subject to regulations in the public interest to ensure their services do not discriminate against any class of customers. Proponents of that reclassification -- four million people submitted comments to the FCC ahead of its decision -- said it was needed to prevent the development of an unequal Internet where organizations with more money could pay for "fast-lane" priority service over others.

FCC Won't Let Up on Open Broadband

Wheeler began his comments by noting the decision earlier this month by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington to deny a petition by several opponents to stay the order. The court ruled on June 12 that there was "no merit" to the arguments for a stay made by the National Association of Broadcasters, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the CTIA Wireless Association and others.

With broadband delivery costs continuing to decline and broadband-related innovations expanding, "weEUre not going to let imaginary concerns about investment incentives and utility regulation cause us to let up on policies to encourage fast, fair, and open broadband," Wheeler said.

"As you know, this was a big argument by the ISPs in their stay request; that somehow assuring that networks are...

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