CEI Comments to the FCC on Restoring Internet Freedom

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On behalf of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), we respectfully submit these comments regarding the FCC’s proposed rule in the matter of restoring Internet freedom. CEI is a nonprofit public interest organization dedicated to the principles of limited constitutional government and free enterprise. We have previously participated in the Commission’s proceedings regarding how Internet service providers should be regulated, and we filed amicus briefs with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit when it reviewed the Commission’s previous efforts to regulate the Internet in Verizon v. FCC and US Telecom Association v. FCC

We commend the Commission’s proposal to undo the 2015 Order’s classification of broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service subject to Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Consumers would be far better served if the FCC were to reinstate its longstanding, pre-2015 interpretation of the Communications Act:  that Internet service providers (ISPs) are “information services” under the Act and are thus free from the panoply of Title II mandates. The FCC should also abandon its bright line rules that bar ISPs from engaging in discrimination, paid prioritization, or blocking with respect to Internet traffic. Finally, we urge the Commission to refrain from imposing new rules on how Internet service providers may manage their networks based on any source of legal authority other than Title II.

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