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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

FCC Releases Open Internet Order


If you are looking for some light reading (400 pages worth), the FCC has released their full report of the Open Internet Order, including all of the Commissioners' opinions, both concurring and dissenting. Still, the order isn't official yet -- it will still have to be published in the Federal Register, and then followed by a period of public commentary.

The order has been highly criticized and will undoubtedly be challenged in court. The high-profile ruling has drawn Congressional attention, and legislation has already been introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), that would render the ruling history and would prevent the Commission from writing new ones.

Thursday, the FCC released a statement with an overview of the Open Internet Order and counter arguments to the objections to the ruling. The Statement said, "The Commission has released the full and final text of the Open Internet Order, which will preserve and protect the Internet as a platform for innovation, expression and economic growth. An open Internet means consumers can go where they want, when they want. It means innovators can develop products and services without asking for permission. It means consumers will demand more and better broadband as they enjoy new Internet services, applications and content."

On Monday, Ajit Pai, undoubtedly the most vocal of the dissenting Commissioners, released "What People are Saying About President Obama's Plan to Regulate the Internet: Post-Adoption Edition." The PDF was loaded with quotes from politicians, Internet industry leaders, journalists, and academia, including Scott McNealy, Mark Cuban, Robert Samuelson, and others. Scott McNealy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and chairman of Wayin was quoted, "This is another process for government officials, elected officials, to create unneeded controversy so that they can get both sides of the argument to donate a heck of a lot of money to keep themselves in power, and continue to drive the regulation economy." Needless to say, the FCC may have passed the order, but the fight to repeal or amend the regulation undoubtedly still has legs.

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