Obama’s net neutrality announcement
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[November 13, 2014]
By Josh Peterson | Watchdog.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In what is sure to
further confuse newcomers to the debate, Comcast on Tuesday said it
applauds President Obama’s proposed net neutrality rules while
disagreeing on how to enforce them.
In a post published on the company blog, Comcast’s executive vice president and
chief diversity officer, David Cohen, said that while the company supports net
neutrality principles called for by Obama and announced Monday, it disagreed
with his support for strict FCC regulation of Internet service providers under
Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.
“Doing so would harm future innovation and investment in broadband and is not
necessary to put in place strong and enforceable Open Internet protections,”
said Cohen, saying the current regulatory regime already gave the FCC the needed
authority to enforce net neutrality.
Net neutrality, on its surface, is the principle that all Internet traffic
should be treated equally, but debate over how to enforce that principle has
consumed the tech policy world for more than a decade.
Reclassifying broadband providers as common carriers under Title II would bring
ISPs under utility-style regulations, a move supported by progressives looking
to curb the threat of communications monopolies and opposed by free-market
advocates fighting big government.
Comcast supported the FCC’s net neutrality rules passed in December 2010 after a
federal appeals court ruled — several months before — the agency exceeded its
authority after censuring the company for interfering with the Internet traffic
of users of the file-sharing network BitTorrent.
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As part of the conditions for its merger with NBC Universal in
2011, Comcast agreed to uphold net neutrality principles. The
company — whose merger with Time Warner Cable is in limbo before the
FCC and the Department of Justice — also supported the FCC’s net
neutrality rules passed in December 2010, denouncing a move to Title
II then, as well.
Contact Josh Peterson at email@example.com. Follow Josh on
Twitter at @jdpeterson
Josh Peterson is a DC-based tech reporter for the Franklin Center's
Watchdog.org news site. Peterson previously spent two years at The
Daily Caller covering tech and telecom regulatory policy as the
publication's Tech Editor. During that time, he focused on
cybersecurity, privacy, civil liberties, and intellectual property
issues, and in addition to covering political protest movements.
Prior to joining The Daily Caller in October 2011, Peterson spent
time in DC researching and reporting on technology issues in
internship roles with Hillsdale College's Kirby Center, Broadband
Breakfast and The National Journalism Center, and The Heritage
Foundation. Peterson has a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from
Hillsdale College. He is also a musician and music enthusiast, and
an avid martial artist.
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