Clyburn Expresses Support for Title II

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn is an open Internet champion.

She understands the importance of a neutral Net for consumers, for businesses and for innovation, and she didn’t hold back from expressing her support for reclassifying broadband during a speech at the Free Press Summit on Tuesday.

Last week, the FCC announced it would move toward reclassifying aspects of broadband under Title II of the Telecommunications Act in order to safeguard Net Neutrality and further the important goals of the National Broadband Plan. A federal appeals court ruled that the FCC doesn’t have the authority under its current Title I system to protect Internet connectivity for consumers.

Watch Clyburn’s speech or read her testimony.

On the issue of reclassification, Clyburn said, it's about "trying to keep the Internet in your hands and not in the hands of industry gatekeepers." She specifically took on those who say reclassification will impose burdensome rules on Internet service providers. She said:

    That argument could not be further from the truth. In fact, we are merely looking to preserve the authority that almost everyone assumed we had under Title I prior to the court’s decision.

Clyburn stressed that protecting Internet access goes beyond Net Neutrality and extends to universal service, privacy, transparency and cybersecurity. Without reclassification, Clyburn said, the FCC’s hands will be tied, or, as the Commissioner put it, “The road to achieving each of those issues [will be] laden with landmines and likely to fail.”

We commend Commissioner Clyburn for upholding the public’s interest, even as corporate lobbyists challenge the FCC over its plan to reclassify broadband. And we urge Clyburn and her fellow commissioners to continue standing with the public as they make decisions that will shape the Internet for generations.