Eshoo wants ISPs treated as common carriers


Anna EshooAnna Eshoo (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, believes that the DC Circuit Court has failed to protect a free and open internet, and has asked FCC Chairman to use a “light-touch” Title II approach to governing fixed and mobile broadband services.

She believes that there are certain sections of Title II that should not apply, but at the same time, says it is essential that provides be reclassified as telecommunications services to guarantee that they do not engage in “…blocking of lawful Internet traffic, paid prioritization and throttling.”

“The message from the over 3.7 million Americans who shared their views with the Commission, primarily through electronic communications, is loud and clear,” wrote Eshoo. “To ensure the Internet remains a robustly competitive engine for economic growth, the reinstated open Internet rules must be based on solid legal ground and provide certainty for consumers and businesses alike. Simply put, the open Internet rules as proposed in May 2014 are not adequate to protect free speech, competition and the continued openness of the Internet.

“As you seek to reinstate robust, enforceable open Internet rules, I urge you to heed the call of innovators, entrepreneurs and the millions of everyday Internet users around the country who have advocated for effective rules that prevent broadband providers from online blocking and discrimination.”

Eshoo’s essential principles include:

* Transparency and Disclosure of ISP’s Reasonable Network Management and Billing Practices: Broadband providers must accurately disclose in clear, unambiguous terms the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms, as well as any mandatory below-the-line fees associated with their broadband Internet access services.

* No Blocking: Broadband providers may not block lawful Internet traffic, subject to reasonable network management and public safety.

* No Paid Prioritization: Broadband providers may not establish financial arrangements with content owners for the purpose of establishing fast and slow lanes on the Internet, discriminatory data caps or other terms or conditions that provide paid preferential treatment to certain online content.

* No Throttling: Broadband providers may not slow down or degrade lawful Internet traffic, subject to reasonable network management and public safety.