Court ruling doesn’t alter providers’ commitment to open Internet

Your editorial “Ruling against ‘net neutrality’ is a blow to innovation” (Jan. 24) misses a few important points.

First, American broadband is a world leader. We have the most affordable entry-level pricing and the most investment, are one of only two countries with three competing broadband technologies, and have networks capable of 100 megabits per second or faster available to 85 percent of households. Our broadband investments double those of our nearest rival.

Second, broadband providers have always been committed to giving consumers access to lawful Web content whenever, wherever, and on whatever device they want. The court decision doesn’t alter that commitment to an open Internet.


Third, the Federal Communications Commission should not regulate the Internet as a so-called common carrier like the old Ma Bell telephone monopoly, where it regulated prices, profits, and the terms of competition. Since the Clinton administration there has been bipartisan consensus that broadband Internet is different. We shouldn’t go back to rotary phone-era regulations any more than we should go back to dial-up Internet.

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There have been scant alleged breaches of open-Internet principles; such controversies were resolved cooperatively and quickly. An open Internet is in everyone’s interest.

Michael K. Powell

President and CEO

National Cable and




The writer was chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from 2001 to 2005.