|March 23, 2015
The Reality of Net Neutrality
The Internet is the greatest economic engine of our lifetime, and its growth has been driven by market forces that have produced an astoundingly open online world full of innovation. As a leading broadband provider, Mediacom has always ensured an open Internet experience for our customers. We will continue to do so because the growth and popularity of the Internet is directly tied to the free movement of information between its users.
On February 26, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 along party lines on rules that govern how Internet service providers (“ISPs”) deal with the flow of Internet content across their networks. The Commission’s vote on these “net neutrality” rules was no doubt influenced by President Barack Obama who publicly urged the FCC to regulate broadband Internet services under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.
While Mediacom supports the principles of net neutrality, we believe the FCC’s plan to use Title II as the mechanism for enforcing net neutrality is shortsighted and ill-conceived. Aside from the obvious challenges of applying a 1930s-era statute to a modern communications system that spans the globe, forcing ISPs under Title II will most certainly stifle innovation, inhibit infrastructure investment, and unfairly shift costs to hard-working American families.
The legal reclassification of a service this critical to the economic and cultural fabric of our nation should not be left to three unelected government officials. Accordingly, it is our position that Congress, not the FCC, is the appropriate venue for determining the regulatory fate of the Internet. If net neutrality is truly a priority for this Administration, the President and the FCC should endeavor to work with Congress to craft sustainable protections that will provide long-lasting benefits for Internet users.