The Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) supports net neutrality.
CTTAB endorses a common definition by the Global Net Neutrality Coalition:
Net neutrality requires that the Internet be maintained as an open platform, on which network providers treat all content, applications and services equally, without discrimination.
Currently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering new rules on how Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can regulate the Internet. The commission is considering allowing ISPs to implement paid prioritization of data by different content providers. This change would be fundamentally at odds with net neutrality.
The democratic nature of the Internet would be severely compromised if a tiered structure of content delivery were to be implemented. If the speed of data pipelines became dependent upon fees paid by content providers to ISPs, then large corporations and wealthy individuals would have an unfair advantage over small businesses and new start-up companies. Allowing ISPs to control what types of information are distributed online and how people access that information would give ISPs unprecedented power over the control of information, severely limit innovation, and put a drag on our economy. Our information society would begin to resemble those of totalitarian states.
CTTAB supports proposed FCC regulation for Net Neutrality under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Under Title II, ISPs would be considered common carriers of information. Title II allows the FCC to “promote competition in the local telecommunications market”, “remove barriers to infrastructure investment”, and ensure that ISPs “act in the interest of the public.”
Extending the application of Title II to include internet infrastructure ensures that ISPs would not be allowed to discriminate against, favor, or influence any legally accessible source of content or third party delivery to their Internet access subscribers. Using Title II as a framework for net neutrality ensures a robust and competitive online environment, preserves reasonably unrestricted personal use, and serves the public’s best interest.
Citizens’ Technology and Telecommunications Advisory Board
(Approved by CTTAB 1/13/15)