Tomorrow the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on the draft Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, Restoring Internet Freedom, reversing the 2015 Open Internet order, commonly known as the net neutrality rules. The draft Restoring Internet Freedom order reverses classification of mobile and fixed broadband internet access services as common carrier services, implements a “transparency only” net neutrality regime at the FCC, and eliminates the existing bright line prohibitions on blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization, which is the general conduct standard to evaluate potential threats to an open Internet.
In response to the draft order and scheduled vote, APLU, the five other presidential higher education associations and EDUCAUSE last week sent a letter to the FCC expressing serious concerns with the draft order and urging the FCC to maintain clear and enforceable net neutrality rules. The letter is consistent with the comments and reply comments APLU and other associations sent in response to the July 2017 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Restoring Internet Freedom.
While the FCC is expected to approve the Restoring Internet Freedom order at its December 14 meeting, the debate around net neutrality policies will continue in the courts and on Capitol Hill and APLU will continue to be engaged. More on APLU’s efforts around net neutrality can be found here.