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Network Neutrality and the FCC’s Internet Policy Statement

Network Neutrality and the FCC’s Internet Policy Statement

Marvin Ammori, General Counsel of Free Press

Marvin Ammori, General Counsel of Free Press, discussed "Network Neutrality and the FCC’s Internet Policy Statement: Biased Thoughts from a Lawyer Working with & Free Press."

From Marvin: I have some thoughts and lingering questions about the role of the FCC’s Internet Policy Statement, which is not an enforceable rule, in the regulatory and legislative battles over network neutrality. This Policy Statement has been central to debates in which my organization has been actively involved—including debate over the 2006 Snowe-Dorgan amendment to legislate network neutrality, major telecommunications mergers, potential state network neutrality regulation, and the Comcast-BitTorrent controversy. I would like to discuss its central role in these debates, the many questions it fails to answer or even pose, and what role I believe the Policy Statement should play.

Background: Since the mid-1990s, scholars, legislators, and the public have debated the merits of network neutrality, and the various regulatory means of attempting to ensure network neutrality. Until 2005, those favoring neutral networks advocated for open access and Title-II-like regulations. In 2005, the FCC rejected open access and Title II, but adopted an unenforceable Internet Policy Statement meant to guide the FCC’s future policy-making activities. This Policy Statement declared, among other things, that consumers were entitled to access the applications and content of their choice. The Policy Statement’s effectiveness, methods of “enforcement,” and very meaning have all remained contested, even while the Statement plays an instrumental role in determining the internet’s future.

About Marvin

Marvin Ammori is the General Counsel of Free Press, which is the Coordinator of the campaign. Free Press was instrumental in making network neutrality a publicly debated issue, and its policy team has been deeply involved in a range of media and internet issues, including network neutrality, media ownership limits, white spaces regulation, and universal service for broadband. Before joining Free Press, Marvin was outside counsel to Free Press and other public interest media advocacy groups as a staff attorney for the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center. Marvin graduated from HLS in 2003, and worked on JOLT.


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Past Event
Dec 7, 2007
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM