For far too long, the question of net neutrality has hamstrung the FCC and prevented needed action on far more urgent, and real, problems. Today’s vote, we trust, will put this issue behind us with a compromise that appears to balance major differences despite a number of lingering concerns.
We appreciate the views expressed publicly by Commissioners McDowell and Baker. Theirs is, we feel, a position supported by the factual record in front of the Commission, and by law. It would also be our preference, especially given the utter absence of any evidence that abuses are occurring in the Internet market, let alone any of the gravity to justify government intervention.
At the same time, we recognize the determination of the Chairman to move forward with a rulemaking. In this circumstance, which is not ideal, our overarching concern is to bring market certainty so that investment and job creation can go forward, while ensuring that we can still meet the expectations of our customers. Though a final view must await a careful reading of the FCC’s order, we believe the Chairman’s compromise can provide this certainty while taking steps to preserve flexibility for investment and innovation.
In particular, we would like to commend Chairman Genachowski and his staff for seeking a fair middle ground in this contentious debate. As we have seen in many issues, there are always radical voices urging heavy-handed government regulation and control of free markets. Such voices have not been absent from the net neutrality debate despite their repudiation by the American public.
Too often, well-funded ideologues have used intimidation, vilification, and fear-mongering to advance their goal that government control the Internet and other forms of communication without regard for their impact on the jobs and livelihoods of millions already challenged by a difficult economy. The Commission’s apparent rejection of such unfeeling dogma is an added reason to be heartened by today’s FCC vote.