Franklin Center Statement on FCC Vote on Net Neutrality

Alexandria, VA - Jason Stverak, President of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a leading national non-profit journalism organization, released the following statement regarding the news that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to pass net neutrality.  The FCC’s policy bans the blocking of lawful traffic but permits Internet providers to manage network congestion and charge consumers based on Internet usage.

“This change of policy by the FCC is stepping stone for additional control of the internet and the eventual regulation of journalism itself. This policy will not only be financially cumbersome and intrusive, it will also hinder the way Americans use the internet. This regulation comes at a time when the internet serves for many as the sole source of news.  A June 2010 Pew Report found that roughly a third (34%) of the public say they went online for news and 44% of Americans say they got news through one or more internet or mobile digital source. Both of these statistics are considerably higher than those who said they turned to their local newspaper for their news coverage.

Excessive regulation by the FCC will be detrimental to internet growth and the companies that utilize the internet for their business model, like the many online news organizations.  The Franklin Center believes that the internet must be a protected and safe to all users but cannot support a proposal that will lead to unnecessary regulations that will trickle down to affect the news business.”

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