Originally published: May 3, 2010
Last updated: May 3, 2010 - 11:58pm
In a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, former White House aide Susan Crawford joins fellow-Professors Marvin Ammori and Tim Wu in supporting the proposition that the FCC has the legal authority to classify the transmission portion of high-speed Internet access -- but not "the Internet" -- as a telecommunications service.
From 2000 to 2005, retail cable modem service was arguably legally classified as a telecommunications service. This history underscores the ambiguity of US telecommunications law and the permissibility of either classification. In 2010, the gatekeeper providers of transmission -- the carriers -- are no longer separate entities providing basic, regulated services. There's no robust marketplace of independent Internet service providers. The FCC faces a choice -- it can abandon the idea of supporting high-speed access with the Universal Service Fund and requiring providers of high-speed Internet access to disclose detailed information about costs and speeds. Alternatively, the FCC can reclassify and face a single battle, but it is one the FCC should win if it develops an adequate factual record about consumers' changed perception of Internet access services.
- Administration Must Commit to True Universal Service
- Susan Crawford for FCC chairman
- Is Broadband Internet Access a Public Utility?
- The Reclassification Debate, Part II
- Bringing High-Speed Internet to All
- An Internet for Everybody
- Misunderstanding Race and the Digital Divide
- US Internet Users Pay More for Slower Service
- America Doesn’t Need Google Fiber Everywhere — But We Do Need Its Buzz
- How to Get America Online
- Captive Audience
- Bad Timing: Comcast, Netflix, NN, Cable Modems, and NBCU
- Susan Crawford: Country and FCC at Crisis Point
- It’s Time to Fix the Pitifully Slow, Expensive Internet Access in the US
- The New Digital Divide