In response to what he characterized as “misinformation” that been reported in the press concerning the draft Open Internet Notice of Proposed Rulemaking he will circulate today to the other Commissioners, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler posted a blog addressing the specifics of his proposal.
- The Notice proposes the reinstatement of the Open Internet concepts previously adopted by the FCC and subsequently remanded by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. “The Notice does not change the underlying goals of transparency, no blocking of lawful content, and no unreasonable discrimination among users established by the 2010 Rule.”
- His intention is to conclude the proceeding and have enforceable rules by the end of the year.
- The Notice will propose: (1) That all ISPs must transparently disclose to their subscribers and users all relevant information as to the policies that govern their network; (2) That no legal content may be blocked; and (3) That ISPs may not act in a commercially unreasonable manner to harm the Internet, including favoring the traffic from an affiliated entity.
Chairman Wheeler also emphasized that the FCC was not abandoning its earlier policies and that “[t]he allegation that it will result in anti-competitive price increases for consumers is also unfounded. That is exactly what the “commercially unreasonable” test will protect against: harm to competition and consumers stemming from abusive market activity.”
The Chairman went on to say:
“The Court of Appeals made it clear that the FCC could stop harmful conduct if it were found to not be “commercially reasonable.” Acting within the constraints of the Court’s decision, the Notice will propose rules that establish a high bar for what is “commercially reasonable.” In addition, the Notice will seek ideas on other approaches to achieve this important goal consistent with the Court’s decision. The Notice will also observe that the Commission believes it has the authority under Supreme Court precedent to identify behavior that is flatly illegal.”