CDT Comments in the Matter of Broadband Industry Practices
CDT strongly believes that the Internet’s extraordinary success in facilitating independent innovation and speech is directly linked to the fact that any Internet user can provide content and services to any other willing Internet user, without getting permission from any “gatekeeper.” Actions by broadband providers to degrade certain Internet traffic – the central subject of the petitions on which the Commission has sought comment – may in some instances have legitimate motives but also pose risks of increased gatekeeper control. A full policy response to such risks, however, likely requires congressional action. In these comments, CDT argues that:
- The Commission should not assert jurisdiction to adopt formal rules regulating the network management practices of broadband Internet access providers;
- The Commission should clearly establish that degrading the performance of a user’s chosen service, application, or device is inconsistent with the Commission’s broadband Policy Statement;
- Where a carrier degrades traffic for network management purposes, its policies should be reasonably transparent, evenly applied, and consistent with core internetworking standards; and
- The Commission should consider how it might play a useful monitoring and fact-finding role.