The new net neutrality rules – the industry reacts

22 Dec 2010

While the new rules prevent ISPs acting as gatekeepers as many had feared, there is still a question mark over whether they go far enough to protect the rights of consumers and citizens.

Here’s a round up of some of the reaction to the new net neutrality rules voted in last night:


“Although we share with the FCC the overarching goals of an open internet, we are deeply concerned by today’s 3-2 decision. The FCC’s majority breaks with years of bipartisan communications policies that recognised that internet innovation and investment – and the jobs they create – thrive without government intervention. There is no doubt that the policies put in place by the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration to jump start innovation and the spread of broadband worked. As a result, America’s broadband and internet marketplace is intensely competitive and an engine of economic growth, job creation and multibillion-dollar investment. Today’s decision, however, unnecessarily departs from these successful policies.  

“While it will take some time for us to analyse the FCC’s rules and the order once they are released, the FCC’s decision apparently reaches far beyond the net neutrality rules it announced today. Based on today’s announcement, the FCC appears to assert broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband wireline and wireless networks and the internet itself. This assertion of authority without solid statutory underpinnings will yield continued uncertainty for industry, innovators and investors. In the long run, that is harmful to consumers and the nation.

“Verizon remains committed to preserving an open internet and meeting the needs of our customers. We will continue to work constructively with the FCC and the Congress on these issues.”

CTIA – The Wireless Association

“While we agree … that net neutrality rules are unnecessary, and we continue to maintain that net neutrality rules are particularly unnecessary for the wireless industry that continually innovates, competes and significantly invests in our nation, we recognise that the chairman has attempted to bridge the differences among the various stakeholders.

“As we await the text of the Report and Order, we appreciate that the commission’s action today appears to recognise the important differences between fixed and mobile broadband. Whether it is the competition within the industry, the technical characteristics of the service or the distinct deregulatory framework adopted by Congress under which wireless currently operates, wireless is different.”

The Alliance for Digital Equality

“In passing an Open Internet Order today, the FCC closes the door on a protracted net neutrality debate that has diverted energy and attention from growing jobs and increasing investment – key components to restoring our economy. We applaud the commissioners for their hard work on this complex and controversial policy issue and their commitment to ensuring the internet remains a powerful platform for innovation and job creation without extreme over regulation.

“By lifting the cloud of uncertainty, we have a real opportunity to breathe life back into our economy and give hope to the millions of Americans looking for work.  As we embrace this opportunity, we look forward to working closely with the FCC on implementing a key component the National Broadband Plan – making affordable broadband available to 100pc of Americans.”

DISH Network

“DISH Network applauds Chairman Genachowski and Commissioners Copps and Clyburn for adopting critically important net neutrality rules. The Commission’s Order is a solid framework for protecting the open internet. The new rules give companies, including DISH Network, the framework to invest capital and manpower in internet-related technologies without fear that our investment will be undermined by carriers’ discriminatory practices. While we wish the commission would have gone further to expressly prohibit discrimination on wireless platforms, we are pleased that there will be ongoing commission oversight and enforcement authority.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years