INCOMPAS to FCC: Court’s Remand of Net Neutrality Provisions Critical to Competition, Public Safety and Streaming Revolution
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 20, 2020) – INCOMPAS led the court challenge opposing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to end Net Neutrality provisions that help first responders, main street businesses and the streaming revolution.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit remanded three key parts of the FCC’s decision, sending those items back to the Commission so it can reconsider the impact ending Net Neutrality has on broadband competition (network access to poles/conduit), public safety, and Lifeline services for job seekers.
In its comments filed at the FCC today, INCOMPAS – the internet and competitive networks association – argues that every day, but especially in times of crisis, from disasters like hurricanes and super storms to health emergencies like COVID-19, net neutrality plays a critical role in connecting Americans to essential internet services and information.
The INCOMPAS comments argue net neutrality impacts:
By reclassifying broadband internet access service, competitive broadband providers that only offer broadband service will not have the Section 224 benefits of access to poles and conduit if they are not offering a telecom or cable service as required by that Section. This could put them at a disadvantage in deploying new networks when there already is limited broadband competition for residential service.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that access to over-the-top (OTT) internet information and services is critical to informing and engaging Americans. From police, health and firefighters who rely on apps, to consumers who use social media in times of crisis, INCOMPAS warns that without net neutrality rules, big telecom providers are under no obligation to prevent blocking or slowing down OTT services, even during times of critical safety and health emergencies when consumers are relying on many types of services to stay connected.
As our nation recovers, Americans need jobs, and the Lifeline program which connects low-income consumers to broadband is a jobs program. It helps millions of low-income and out-of-work Americans access phone, email and job sites. You simply cannot get a job without the internet’s resources. INCOMPAS warns that ending net neutrality puts the Lifeline program on uncertain grounds, and it laments that the FCC is not willing to use its Section 706 authority to ensure that all Americans are connected to broadband.
To read the full INCOMPAS comments, click here.
INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association, is the leading trade group advocating for competition policy across all networks. INCOMPAS represents Internet, streaming, communications and technology companies large and small, advocating for laws and policies that promote competition, innovation and economic development. Learn more at www.incompas.org or follow us on Twitter: @INCOMPAS @ChipPickering