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December 7, 2017 Dear "Butterfinger", Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns about the Open Internet Order, often referred to as "net neutrality." My office has heard from other Oklahomans on this issue, and I am grateful for the opportunity to address the recent actions taken on net neutrality.
Net neutrality describes the concept that Internet providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally and content providers should not pay for priority access. Since the Internet was developed, the market and consumers have driven innovation and expansion, which has caused the Internet to thrive in a relatively regulation-free environment. However in 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a new rule, called the Open Internet Order, which would prevent Internet providers from negotiating priority access agreements and would prohibit them from blocking or discriminating against any lawful content.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in January 2014 that the FCC does not have the right to impose heavy-handed regulations on the Internet under Title I of the Telecommunications Act. The federal government can only regulate public utilities like telephone service and electricity.
On November 10, 2014, President Obama formally announced his support for net neutrality, and he encouraged the FCC to reclassify and regulate the Internet as a Title II utility. A Title II utility under the Communications Act of 1934 is the most heavy-handed version of all Internet regulatory proposals. It was comprised of 16 rule parts, 682 pages, and 987 rule sections. It provided the FCC an enormous amount of power to dictate prices, practices, innovation, and business terms to Internet companies.
In a 3-2 decision on February 26, 2015, the FCC announced its approval of the 317-page net neutrality rule that classifies broadband Internet service providers (ISPs) as “common carriers” to be regulated under Title II. The reclassification removed ISPs from the purview of the Federal Trade Commission to the FCC. On June 14, 2016, the U.S Court of Appeals for Washington, DC, in a 2-1 vote, upheld the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order. The ruling denied the petitions for review, which effectively sustained the rulemaking.
On March 23, 2017, the Senate passed S.J. Res. 34, legislation to disapprove of the Open Internet Order under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA process allows Congress to act on a joint resolution of disapproval within 60 session days of receiving the final rule. The resolution must be approved by both chambers and signed by the President. Once signed, the measure stops the rule and prevents similar rules from being issued unless Congress enacts a new law. The House passed S.J. Res 34 on March 28, 2017, and President Trump subsequently signed the measure into law on April 3, 2017.
The CRA simply keeps existing consumer protections and regulations under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has been under its purview for nearly two decades. I voted in favor of the CRA because I believe treating ISPs as public utilities will deter new investments in infrastructure, obstruct improvements to existing broadband networks, and discourage new market entrants. While there is broad agreement that ISPs should treat all legal content equally when delivering it to paying customers, achieving an “open Internet” does not necessitate a dramatic increase in new federal regulations.
After seeking public comment, on November 21, 2017, the FCC released a draft Order entitled, “Restoring Internet Freedom” for consideration at the Commission’s December 14, 2017, open meeting. The measure would reverse the 2015 Open Internet Order and return ISPs under the framework of Title 1 of the Communications Act. Mobile broadband would also be returned to the original classification as a private mobile service. The change in classification would return ISPs under the original authority of the FTC to enforce strong consumer protection and regulate broadband privacy.
ISPs would still be subject to transparency and public disclosure requirements on network management practices, performance, and commercial terms to consumers, businesses, and the FCC. Specifically, ISPs would be required to disclose blocking, throttling, prioritization, congestion management, and security practices. For commercial terms, ISPs would be required to disclose terms of service, prices, privacy policies, and options for resolving consumers redress. ISPs must also release the disclosures on publicly, easily accessible websites or make them publicly available via the FCC. The Commission will also review the disclosure to ensure compliance with the transparency rules. Additionally, states are allowed to enforce individual consumer laws and enforcement actions against ISPs that misrepresent themselves to consumers. ISPs still have strong consumer protections to maintain.
It is important to note that the FCC is primarily restricted to jurisdiction granted to the Commission under the Communications Act. The Act does not explicitly give the FCC authority to regulate in areas like pricing and content-management conduct rules. Sweeping regulatory changes should be deliberated by Congress, not by Executive agencies. For those reasons, I support the FCC’s initiative to begin reversing the 2015 Open Internet Order and will continue to monitor the rulemaking process for further developments and assess the need for legislative solutions.
I encourage you to visit the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom page for informational resources and public notices. FCC Chairman Pai also wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal on the draft order.
I hope this information is helpful to you. Please continue to visit my website and sign up for my e-newsletter to ensure you receive the most up-to-date policy conversations and votes. Please also feel free to contact me again via email at www.lankford.senate.gov for more information about my work in the United States Senate for all of us.
originally posted by: JosephKnecht
a reply to: Butterfinger
Sorry if this if off topic even though it's related, and maybe someone should make a separate thread about it, but I think part of this whole net neutrality agenda is to try and regulate the crypto-currency market. Big banks are starting to implement the RippleNet applications across the globe and pretty soon their crypto currency XRP will be mainstream if all goes according to plan. We are not hearing about most of this due to NDAs (non disclosure agreements).
Imagine only being to trade certain coins on the premium net?
The money traders are going to win either way...
If you can't beat them join them.
I'm no computer scientist so perhaps my theory is way off, but I honestly see this as part of the greater agenda, but certainly not the only reason behind the agenda.
originally posted by: Butterfinger
a reply to: yuppa
They all are in my state, but they know whats best for me and what will keep me safe...so I got that going for me which is nice.