AT&T supports the open internet — always has, always will — and agrees it must remain free and open.
A vibrant, open internet plays a critical role in sparking innovation and growth in Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and our nation’s economy. In fact, the explosive growth of the internet was fueled and fostered by the light touch regulations that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) employed until 2015, when it changed course and imposed outdated, Depression-era regulations on Internet Service Providers (ISPs). This had an immediate adverse impact, as overall broadband investment dropped by billions. This was the first time overall broadband investment decreased outside of a recession, and it is no coincidence that this unprecedented decline in investment coincided with the FCC’s unprecedented decision to impose antiquated Title II regulations on ISPs.
The new Internet Freedom Order recently approved by the FCC removed Title II regulations and the associated legal uncertainties that had slowed broadband investment, and restored the policies that sparked decades of innovation and growth.
When Internet Service Providers (ISPs) know that they can invest without the negative impacts of outdated regulation, they are more likely to invest more in broadband. This is especially beneficial for rural America, where the business case for broadband investment can be challenging enough without unnecessary regulatory overhang.
AT&T supports the principles of an open internet:
- We do not and will not block websites;
- We do not and will not censor online content;
- We do not and will not throttle or degrade traffic based on the content; and,
- We do not and will not unfairly discriminate in our transmission of internet traffic.
We believe that the FCC’s action in restoring its light touch regulatory approach is grounded in the law, the evidence and sound public policy and will encourage increased investment and innovation. We also support federal legislation to codify these basic open internet principles. Only federal legislation will ensure that there are stable, strong and permanent rules that apply across the internet ecosystem. In contrast, individual state laws could fracture the internet to the detriment of investment, innovation and economic development, and they simply are not technologically feasible.
President — AT&T Florida, Puerto Rico & US-VI
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