Julie Samuels, Executive Director
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai recently announced plans to roll back net neutrality protections that were implemented in 2015. As stated in its notice of proposed rulemaking, the FCC intends to “restore internet freedom for all Americans" by giving Internet Service Providers (ISPs) less oversight. Naturally, this plan has created renewed debate on the topic.
In light of this recent development, we are releasing our first policy brief on this issue. In it, we explain what was outlined in Pai's recently released notice, the positions of ISPs and wireless carriers, the tech industry's response, and more.
Tech:NYC agrees that fostering an ideal environment for robust, high-speed internet access to flourish is an important goal for the FCC, the technology industry, and the wider economy. Americans have poor access to reliable and fast broadband, relative to other countries. And there is practically no broadband competition in the United States. Yet we do not believe that the FCC’s plan to roll back the 2015 Open Internet Order is the answer and the FCC has thus far not proven otherwise.
Many prominent members of the tech community have come out against Commissioner Pai’s plan. For instance, more than 1,000 startups, innovators, investors, and entrepreneurial support organizations from all 50 states joined Engine, Y Combinator, and Techstars in a letter asking Pai to leave the current rules in place.
The NYC technology community, led by several Tech:NYC members, has long been a leader in the fight for real net neutrality. We are confident the same will hold true this time around. Tech:NYC will continue to watch this issue closely and will update our policy brief when new major events surrounding net neutrality occur.