EDUCAUSE Comments: Higher Ed Letter Challenges FCC Net Neutrality Order


Throughout the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 2017 net neutrality rule-making process, EDUCAUSE has served as a central member of a higher education coalition working to preserve net neutrality. The December 2017 FCC order unfortunately eviscerates not just the net neutrality rules in place since 2015; it also abdicates any real role for the FCC in addressing net neutrality in favor of “transparency,” “market competition,” and anti-trust enforcement.

In our final response to the FCC prior to passage of the order, EDUCAUSE and its core coalition partners (listed below) argue that the FCC confuses “regulating the Internet” with “regulating access to the Internet,” which leads it to the damaging, inaccurate conclusion that net neutrality rules are harmful and unnecessary. The letter continues by highlighting how the FCC’s mistaken assessment of competition in the consumer broadband market leads it to have excessive and unfounded faith in the ability of market competition to limit the harms likely to result from the 2017 order. EDUCAUSE and its partners conclude by urging the FCC to return to the actual bipartisan consensus that has existed since the Internet emerged as a vital part of national life, in which both net neutrality protections and the FCC’s role in enforcing them are understood as essential.

Higher Education Net Neutrality Coalition, December 2017: American Council on Education, American Association of Community Colleges, Association of American Universities, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Association of State Colleges and Universities, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, EDUCAUSE

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