Tags: FCC | Internet | regulation | AEI

AEI Panel Considers Major Internet Case

By    |   Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 06:43 AM

On Jan. 14, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)'s Center for Internet, Communications and Technology Policy (CICT) held a Google Hangout to discuss the decision that had been handed down that very morning by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Verizon v. FCC.

The issue was the nature and extent of the authority of the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the Internet. The court struck down proposed regulations on blocking and nondiscrimination under section 706 of the Communications Act, but upheld regulations requiring Internet service providers (ISPs) to disclose their policies, the so-called "transparency" rules. However, the court upheld the broad authority of the agency to regulate the Internet and put forth a roadmap for it to do so by reclassifying information services under Title I of the Act as common carriers under Title II.

This panel and the one covered in the next article speculated as to what the parties, the industry and the Commission would do next.

The session was chaired by AEI's Jeff Eisenach, who runs the CICT. He called the court's decision the most important of the last 20 years, affecting the basic fabric of communications regulation in the United States. He concluded that groups such as his have a lot to do to teach economics to the court, because the Commission embraced ideas about competition that could be problematic, but fortunately, these don't bear on the holding in the case and can be debated in the future. He celebrated "a good day" for the Internet, because it can continue to innovate.

Richard Bennett of AEI said he was surprised at the extent to which the court sided with the FCC, but it faulted the agency for having failed to follow its own classification provisions. In his view, the ruling means that Internet freedom applies to the networks, as well as to application developers and consumers. He expressed hope that the FCC will not attempt to undertake regulation of ISPs as common carriers, but he is sure that some staffers are recommending this.

Roslyn Layton of Aalborg University in Copenhagen stressed that the decision means the Internet is open, but while it is a loss on paper for the FCC's rules to be overturned, it is a victory for the agency, because it provides a clean slate for it to go forward after a decade of stalemate.

Bret Swanson of Entropy Economics LLC cited statements by FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler that the Internet must be open, regulation of the Internet is a nonstarter and multi-sided markets should be allowed. Swanson contended it would be "silly" to impose common carrier regulations meant for an old-style phone monopoly. He supported a "complete rethink" of policy in this area.

Babette Boliek, a lawyer and economist at Pepperdine University, called it a win for the FCC, because it confirms the agency's regulatory authority, and this is not all bad, because the FCC can act quickly to intervene against blockages of the web. She contended that if the FCC moved to regulate ISPs as common carriers, it would have to impose the entire panoply of regulations and would have difficulty producing data to support this. She added her voice to those calling for Congress to consider a complete modernization of communications law.

(Archived video can be found here.)

© 2017 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Robert-Feinberg
On Jan. 14, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)'s Center for Internet, Communications and Technology Policy (CICT) held a Google Hangout to discuss the decision that had been handed down that very morning by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Verizon v. FCC.
FCC,Internet,regulation,AEI
552
2014-43-30
Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 06:43 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved