The Federal Communications Commission received tens of thousands of public comments when it was crafting its rules to preserve an open internet, which it adopted Dec. 21, 2010.
The rules address what is commonly known as net neutrality. As written in a previous blog, “Net neutrality is the idea that all providers of legal content, from big-money corporations to grannies with websites, have equal access to internet bandwidth. The PBS program, ‘Moyers on America: The Net @ Risk,’ offers a thorough explanation of net neutrality, as well as a ‘Citizen’s Class.’”
The FCC report and order, which was released Dec. 23, 2010, included an appendix listing the major commenters who weighed in during the public comment period.
In addition to initial comments, there were also replies to comments, notices of ex parte, and multiple comments from sources throughout the entire public comment period. For the sake of sanity, only items labeled “comments” are included. Further comments, replies to comments, and notices of ex parte can be researched at the FCC website.
Here’s a smattering of excerpts from some public comments posted early in the process.
“Our interest in this proceeding is straightforward: to keep the internet awesome for everybody.”—Google Inc.
“Many critics of the Net Neutrality rules make the mistake of confusing regulation of the internet with regulation of the firms that carry internet traffic. This distinction is critical. For while the internet has been generally unregulated since its beginnings, its carriers, in contrast, have always been regulated entities (or at least since 1910). In that sense the Proposed Rules are in the tradition of preserving a nondiscriminatory transport layer that supports multiple, unregulated uses on top of it.”—Tim Wu, professor at Columbia Law School
“The beauty of the internet is that all the servers, organizations, and users that comprise the internet evolve and adapt to usage trends based on an almost real-time ability to change based on the needs of the system, for example, assigning priority to video or audio bits over email or text bits. This conduct of the internet, while it may seem ‘unfair’ to email or text bit users, is simply a way to manage the flow of data more efficiently and allow for all content to be delivered as smoothly as possible. Thus, the internet, as a deregulated mechanism, has become self-regulated based on its own needs.”—American Civil Rights Union
“ABM supports the codification of FCC’s original four principles of net neutrality….”
“ABM believes that codifying and enforcing these principles is necessary to ensure fairness and accessibility for content owners and customers.”
“ABM also support’s the FCC’s proposed Principle of Non-Discrimination—specifically, that ‘subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband internet access service must treat lawful content, applications, and services in a nondiscriminatory manner.’”—American Business Media
“For the foregoing reasons, CBW requests that the Commission forego application of the ‘open internet’ principles to small and regional wireless providers. Alternatively, CBW requests that the Commission define ‘reasonable network management’ in order to provide the additional clarity described above.”—Cincinnati Bell Wireless LLC
“Our conclusion is that the FCC is being urged to implement new regulations for ideological reasons alone. And we believe that regulations should only be implemented when there is clear evidence of consumer harm or market failure, not simply because newly empowered regulators have a different vision for what the communications marketplace should look like.”—Institute for Policy Innovation
“Netflix believes that the codification of the existing network neutrality principles, together with the addition of nondiscrimination and transparency, create an effective framework for preserving an open internet. These rules will allow all parts of the industry—network operators, consumer electronics manufacturers, and edge providers of content, applications, and services—to continue to innovate at a rapid pace, unburdened by the unnecessary intervention of network operators or government regulators.”—Netflix Inc.
“Skype Communications S.A.R.L. (‘Skype’) welcomes the Commission’s focus on preserving an open internet and strongly supports the proposed six principles described in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Adopting enforceable rules in this proceeding will foster competition and innovation throughout the internet ecosystem. This proceeding presents the FCC with an historic opportunity to propose a new model for competition and innovation policy: a ‘multi-modal’ approach to competition and innovation policy that encourages competitive service offerings from not only traditional access providers, but also from new players at the edge of the network, leading to greater levels of investment and job creation in core and edge technologies.”—Skype Communications S.A.R.L.
“The U.S. Chamber urges the Commission to refrain from imposing a new, burdensome regulatory regime on broadband internet access service providers that would create regulatory uncertainty. Given these turbulent economic times and the enormous cost of building out broadband infrastructure, the United States cannot afford policies that would hinder private-sector investment in this critical technology. There can be no innovative edge technologies without significant investment and innovation in the core of the network as well.”—U.S. Chamber of Commerce
“In light of these real risks, rules should only be adopted if a record is built that includes concrete facts and data demonstrating (1) actual—not conjectural—harms that would be remedied by the proposed rules; (2) actual—not hypothetical—benefits that would be gained by adoption of the proposed rules; and (3) that the harms and benefits outweigh the real risks to continued innovation and investment. To date there is no such record.”—Comcast Corporation