Originally published: August 7, 2014
Last updated: August 7, 2014 - 10:03pm
[Commentary] One of the most persistent lies told in Washington is the notion that common carriage is a heavy-handed regulation that transforms innovative businesses into antiquated, government-run utilities.
Any mention of restoring this time-tested principle to the Internet causes fits among phone and cable industry lobbyists. It's a debate now raging throughout the record number of comments filed at the Federal Communications Commission, which has put the issue of common carriage back "on the table" as it weighs new rules to protect network neutrality.
Actually, according to settled law, common carriage applies to any carrier that "holds itself out... to carry for all people indifferently." This makes common carriage "of substantial social value," Columbia University economist Eli Noam wrote in a 1994 paper in which he accurately predicted industry efforts to kill the standard.
"It extends free speech principles to privately owned carriers. It is an arrangement that promotes interconnection, encourages competition, assists universal service and reduces transaction costs."
[Karr is Senior Director of Strategy, Free Press]
- Free Press Builds Definitive Case for Net Neutrality
- The FCC's disingenuous 'third way' on broadband
- Just say no to Ma Bell-era Network Neutrality regulation
- The FTC's Threat to Web Consumers
- Title II: Net Disaster, Not Net Neutrality
- Texas opposes FCC reclassification
- Activists Seek FCC Field Hearings on Network Neutrality
- NCTA: Title II Would Be Terrible Mistake
- Verizon promises not to sue over net neutrality -- if FCC avoids utility rules
- Make broadband a common carrier
- Strickling: Government Needs To Be Involved In Net Policy
- Verizon: Interconnection is Not Net Neutrality Issue
- #NetNeutrality News Never Sleeps (Even in August)
- Cable companies bankroll fake consumer groups to end net neutrality
- Neutrality rules