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FCC panelists: Net neutrality protects innovation and freedom

Publication Date: 
April 29, 2010
Source: 
The Microsoft Blog
Author: 
Nick Eaton

Professor Barbara van Schewick is quoted on net neutrality from a FCC workshop, where she served as an expert panelist:

Failure to regulate the Internet and preserve net neutrality would thwart innovation and endanger the already-fragile U.S. economy, several experts told the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday. Unfortunately, a district court last week said the FCC doesn't have the power to prohibit Internet service providers from restricting access to specific websites, raising questions over the agency's ability to regulate the Internet. Now the FCC is trying to perhaps reclassify Internet-protocol (IP) communications as telecommunications, or find some other way around the ruling. ... During the FCC workshop, two areas of concern dominated the discussion. Comcast, for instance, restricted access to several websites, landing them in court to fight the FCC. And some ISPs would like to be able to charge Internet companies to gain access to users. "It would allow them to pick winners and losers on the Internet," said panelist Barbara van Schewick, an assistant law professor at Stanford University. "And there are a lot of problems with that."