The nation’s colleges and libraries have a message for the Federal Communications Commission: Don’t mess with net neutrality.
Echoing almost a decade of pro-neutrality sentiment in academe, 11 higher-education and library groups released a set of 11 principles on Thursday that promote the notion that all Internet content, regardless of origin, should be treated equally.
The 11 principles—meant to guide the FCC as it considers new open-Internet rules—include recommendations to prohibit the blocking of legal websites, ensure neutrality on public networks, forbid paid prioritization in the transmission of some content over others, and adopt enforceable policies.
Before adopting enforceable policies, though, the FCC will have to find some that stand up in court. In January the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the commission’s existing net-neutrality rules. The FCC responded in May by saying it would propose new rules that could permit telecommunications companies to charge extra for high-speed delivery of content. Net-neutrality advocates worried then that the new rules, if unchanged, could prove detrimental to cybereducation and research collaboration, among other uses of the Internet.