Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chairman Tom Wheeler: FCC Will Preserve Net Neutrality

Tom Wheeler (Daily Camera)
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Monday reasserted that his agency has the authority to preserve the open Internet and will take active steps to do so, according to

But on the eve of his 100th day as FCC chief, Wheeler stopped a few steps shy of fully disclosing his agency's plan of action following a recent landmark court ruling affecting open Internet laws.

Wheeler on Monday delivered the closing keynote speech at a two-day telecommunications law conference hosted by the University of Colorado's Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship.

The speech came just weeks after a federal appeals court struck down portions of the FCC's net neutrality provisions that were aimed at equal treatment of Internet traffic.

Wheeler said Monday that the judges' ruling supports the FCC's ability to govern and protect the open Internet.

"The preservation of an open Internet is within the FCC's authority," Wheeler said.

Wheeler asserted that the FCC needs to be nimble as it approaches regulating a dynamic and constantly evolving broadband landscape.

"(The new circumstances of the Internet and broadband) demand that we must act anew," Wheeler said, referencing a quote from President Abraham Lincoln. "We can't just kick the can down the road. We have an obligation to act now."

Wheeler also indicated that path might include case-by-case enforcement, reiterating a position made at the end of January.

"We will act when the record warrants and the public interest demands," he said.

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