Statement

Statement On Ajit Pai’s Designation as FCC Chairman

Posted by | Regulatory State, Statement | No Comments

Washington, DC, January 23, 2017 – Fred Campbell, director of Tech Knowledge, issued the following statement regarding the designation of Ajit Pai as the 34th Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission:

“There is no one more qualified to guide the FCC for the next four years. Chairman Pai’s intelligence, experience, and humility will serve the American people well. The future of communications regulation could not be any brighter.”

Tech Knowledge promotes market-oriented technology policies on behalf of the public interest. Additional information about Tech Knowledge can be found on our website, techknowledge.center.

Tech Knowledge Statement On Netflix Throttling Admission

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Statement, Video | No Comments

Haymarket, VA, March 25, 2016 – Fred Campbell, director of Tech Knowledge, issued the following statement regarding Netflix’s admission that its been secretly throttling its wireless video traffic on a discriminatory basis:

“When I first raised concerns about Netflix’s cynical manipulation of Internet traffic flows in this analysis, I thought the FCC would ask Netflix some questions like these. Instead, it was a Canadian regulator who used language from my initial analysis (in this hearing) to ask Netflix whether it was throttling traffic to aid its net neutrality lobbying efforts, and Netflix’s director of global public policy who said, ‘The allegations that we slowed our traffic or otherwise [are] responsible for degrading users’ service are categorically untrue.’

Yesterday, however, staff at the Wall Street Journal reported that Netflix now admits that it has been secretly throttling its video traffic for more than five years in a manner that is patently discriminatory.

Make no mistake, the importance of this revelation for U.S. Internet policy goes well beyond Netflix and the all-too-common practice of corporate hypocrisy in Washington. Policymakers in the U.S. have systematically excluded Netflix and all other “over-the-top” companies from Internet, privacy, and video regulations that would otherwise apply based on the presumption that over-the-top companies lack the incentive or ability to engage in discriminatory or anticompetitive behavior that could harm consumers or competition. Netflix just proved that presumption is dead wrong.

The public policies that govern communications systems should be purposeful, not haphazard. They should be applied in a way that’s even-handed, not in a way that treats one set of industry participants better than another. They should be based on credible, reliable data, not anecdotal evidence offered by large corporations seeking government favors. And when there are credible allegations that a company has secretly engaged in practices that have been deemed harmful to consumers and competition, policymakers should investigate those allegations in good faith, not ignore them.

Now that Netflix has finally admitted the truth, Congress, the FCC, and the FTC should fully investigate Netflix’s secret and discriminatory throttling practices.”

Tech Knowledge promotes market-oriented technology policies on behalf of the public interest. Additional information about Tech Knowledge can be found on our website, techknowledge.center.

CBIT Statement on Oral Arguments in Net Neutrality Case

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Freedom of Speech, Statement | No Comments
For Immediate Release

CBIT Statement on Oral Arguments in Net Neutrality Case

Haymarket, VA, December 3, 2015 – Fred Campbell, Director of the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology, released the following statement with respect to the oral arguments on net neutrality that will take place on December 4, 2015, before the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit:

“I expect the FCC will struggle during its court defense of its new net neutrality rules. It’s impossible to square prior court decisions with the unprecedented FCC power grab in the open Internet order under review.

In the previous net neutrality case, the court said it ‘might well hesitate to conclude that Congress intended to grant the Commission’ authority to regulate the Internet with ‘no limiting principle.’ Yet there is no discernible ‘limiting principle’ on the FCC’s interpretation of Title II for the Internet.

The D.C. Circuit court has held that the public interest standard in Title II is ‘essentially one of reasonableness’ with respect to business practices, not absolutes. But the FCC’s new net neutrality rules impose an absolute ban on the business management of ISP networks. According to the FCC’s new net neutrality rules, it is never reasonable for an ISP to manage their networks for ‘business’ reasons. There is no basis in the statute for that sort of hard line.

Even if the FCC wins its statutory arguments, it will very likely lose on constitutional grounds. The law is clear that those who disseminate mass media content have a First Amendment right to exercise the freedom of the press, yet the FCC’s net neutrality rules prohibit any attempt by ISPs to exercise that right. Given that the Supreme Court has never upheld an absolute ban on the exercise of a First Amendment right, it’s highly unlikely that the D.C. Circuit will uphold the FCC’s net neutrality rules.”

The Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology (CBIT) advocates for market oriented government policies to advance innovation in technology. Additional information, blog posts and commentary about CBIT can be found on the CBIT website, cbit.org.

CBIT Statement on FCC Municipal Broadband and Net Neutrality Votes

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Regulatory State, Statement | No Comments

Washington, D.C., February 26, 2015 – Fred Campbell, Director of the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology, released the following statement with respect to the votes of the Federal Communications Commission on municipal broadband and Internet regulation:

“Today’s FCC actions imposing discriminatory, anticompetitive regulations on the Internet and preempting state competition laws trampled on the rights to free speech and freedom of the press, state rights, and fundamental principles of the free market.

The agency’s ideological pivot at the President’s command betrayed the trust of Congress and the American people in the fairness and utility of the FCC and other so-called independent agencies. It’s now up to Congress and the courts to uphold justice and protect the values that Americans hold dear.”

CBIT Statement on President Obama’s Plan to Regulate the Internet

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Statement | No Comments

This morning, President Obama urged the Federal Communications Commission to impose common carrier regulation on the Internet using Title II of the Communications Act. CBIT’s Director, Fred Campbell, responded as follows:

“Imposing Title II regulations on the Internet would discourage investment in new communications infrastructure and threaten our economic recovery. Investment in the Internet is flourishing under the current light-touch regulatory approach using the FCC’s section 706 authority, an approach that was pioneered in the Clinton-era and approved by Federal courts earlier this year. The President’s plan would reject the legal roadmap using section 706 that was approved by the courts in favor of an untested, heavy-handed approach originally designed for the analog telephone system. Applying Title II to the Internet would create legal uncertainty at home and encourage the efforts of totalitarian regimes abroad to tighten their control over the Internet — the 21st Century’s mass media communications system.”