Letters And Testimony


FAI Submits Joint Comments Opposing Net Neutrality

letters and testimony

FAI Submits Joint Comments Opposing Net Neutrality

December 14, 2023

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Today, the Foundation for American Innovation, in conjunction with China Tech Threat, submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission opposing the agency’s proposed reimposition of Title II regulation of broadband Internet access services, often referred to as “net neutrality." Click here to download a PDF of the comment.

Executive Summary

The Foundation for American Innovation (FAI) and China Tech Threat (CTT) appreciate the opportunity to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concerning its proposed Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). We appreciate and agree with the FCC that national security and public safety are worthy public policy goals, and we recognize that the FCC has implemented dozens of important and meaningful actions on these fronts in recent years. However, none of these actions required the invocation of Title II, and indeed, most were conducted in the wake of the removal from Title II from broadband.

The Commission’s assertion that Title II is necessary to “strengthen” its national security and public safety efforts is an unfounded, contrived notion. As this comment will show, the FCC has pursued dozens of items over the years to advance national security and public safety goals within its existing statutory authority and without Title II. When more authority was needed, the FCC engaged forthrightly with Congress to define and enshrine new powers, for example recently and significantly with the Secure Equipment Act, a process which FAI and CTT were pleased to support. Indeed, just two years ago, the FCC “strengthened” its security review process of companies with foreign ownership, concluding a process which spanned two administrations and multiple federal agencies for national security, public safety and law enforcement, and which was adopted unanimously.

The FCC likely posits a new reasoning for Title II imposition because its earlier arguments that Title II was necessary to protect innovation and openness have been disproven with academic and empirical evidence and practical experience. America’s internet ecosystem has flourished following the removal of Title II in 2018, and countries with such rules (notably the member states of the European Union) suffer reduced innovation and investment. Indeed, upon leaving the European Union, the United Kingdom moved to update significantly its net neutrality/open internet guidance, observing that such rules reduced consumer welfare by prohibiting their ability to access free health and education applications, premium offers, and specialized services, and moreover, that such rules reduced the ability of broadband providers to compete and innovate.

Finally, as organizations engaged in a legitimate effort to strengthen national security, FAI and CTT find that the FCC’s has more credibility by operating within its statutory authority, partnering with America’s bona fide national security agencies, and asking Congress for support when needed. We strongly encourage the FCC to end the proceeding and return to the work which is vital for America’s interests including but not limited to spectrum reauthorization, reform of the universal service program, and broadband deployment.

To read our full comments, click here.

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