rules of the road to preserve the open Internet.”
On the face of it, the FCC's intent is laudable. However, rules
matter only when enforced. Unfortunately, in approving these open
Internet rules, the FCC did little to ensure their enforcement.
Indeed, the FCC's action today puts the burden of proof largely on
citizens, small businesses, nonprofits and entrepreneurs who are
most likely to be victimized by violations of open Internet rules.
Moreover, even when violations of these rules are identified, any
enforcement action by the FCC will likely result in a legal
challenge to the agency's authority.
Last April's federal appeals court decision, “Comcast v. FCC,” found
that the FCC lacked the authority to enforce one of the most basic
open Internet rules: nondiscriminatory treatment of network traffic.
While the FCC today waved the battle flag for preserving an open
Internet, it did so while retreating from the battlefield.
Given the FCC's failure to approve meaningful open Internet rules,
the burden of continuing the struggle to preserve an open Internet
now shifts to citizens, communities, public-interest organizations,
and business interests who understand that preserving an open
Internet is the civil rights struggle of the 21st century.
Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN)
MAIN-FM 103.5 LP Asheville, N.C.
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