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Internet Issues

Commissioner Ajit Pai on Net Neutrality - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Ajit V. Pai, Bryan N. Tramont January 15, 2015

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai spoke to Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Chairman Bryan Tramont about one of the hottest topics before the Commission today – Open Internet, otherwise known as Net Neutrality. The internet has become a vital platform for innovation and growth throughout the nation, and has flourished with little or no federal or state regulation. Yet the FCC is currently considering new “rules of the road” for the internet that could substantially alter the future of the web and have a profound impact on our economy. The main questions at hand are whether the FCC should regulate internet service providers’ network management practices, and if so, what those rules should be. Some have suggested that the FCC should classify broadband service as a telecommunications service and subject internet service providers to public utility regulation, otherwise known as Title II. Others believe the Commission should pursue other regulatory avenues, such as using the FCC’s existing authority under Section 706 of the Communications Act.

What is net neutrality exactly? Is there a legitimate need for a regulated internet, or is this is a solution in search of a problem? Does the Commission have legal authority to regulate the internet, or is Congressional authorization a prerequisite? What impact would regulation have on innovation and investment in broadband? Commissioner Pai explored these and other issues in this important teleforum.

  • Hon. Ajit V. Pai, Federal Communications Commission
  • Bryan N. Tramont, Managing Partner, Wilkinson, Barker, Knauer, LLP

Competition Policy in the Telecommunications Space - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Gene Kimmelman, Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Michael O'Rielly, Christopher S. Yoo, Stephen F. Williams November 17, 2014

In today’s rapidly evolving telecommunications landscape, the development of new technologies and distribution platforms are driving innovation and growth at a breakneck speed across the Internet ecosystem.  Broadband connectivity is increasingly important to our civil discourse, our economy, and our future.  What is the proper role of government in facilitating robust investment and competition in this critical sector?  When technology companies constantly have to reinvent themselves and adapt to survive – what role should government play?  Our panel of experts will discuss the current regulatory environment and how government policies – particularly regarding transactions and the Open Internet proceeding – could affect the competitive marketplace.

The Federalist Society's Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group presented this panel on "Competition Policy in the Telecommunications Space" on Thursday, November 13, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.

Featuring:

  • Mr. Gene Kimmelman, President and CEO, Public Knowledge
  • Hon. Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Federal Trade Commission
  • Hon. Michael O’Rielly, Federal Communications Commission
  • Prof. Christopher S. Yoo, John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer & Information Science, and Director, Center for Technology, Innovation & Competition, University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Stephen F. Williams, Senior Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Net Neutrality: The Power to Act - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Daniel Lyons, Michael Weinberg, Randolph J. May August 04, 2014

After suffering two judicial setbacks already, most recently in the D.C. Circuit’s Verizon v. FCC decision this past January, the Federal Communications Commission is once again proposing to adopt new net neutrality regulations. The proposed regulations would bar internet service providers from blocking access to any lawful website or from engaging in commercially unreasonable practices. A key aspect of the FCC’s proposal drawing considerable attention concerns whether the FCC should bar so-called paid prioritization of internet traffic.

In this Teleforum, three experts with divergent views addressed whether there is any need for the FCC to adopt any new neutrality regulations and, if so, whether the agency possesses the legal authority to do so. Two principal legal theories that may support FCC action were discussed – using the FCC’s existing authority under Section 706 of the Communications Act or classifying internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Act. The panelists also discussed the most important question of all: whether and how net neutrality regulation might affect consumer welfare.

  • Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • Prof. Daniel Lyons, Boston College Law School
  • Michael Weinberg, Vice President, Public Knowledge
  • Moderator: Randolph J. May, President, The Free State Foundation