On May 28th Digital Liberty hosted the event Net Neutrality, Title II, and the future of the Internet, featuring comments from Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and a panel discussion with Fred Campbell, Director of the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology; Hance Haney, Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project at the Discovery Institute; and Scott Cleland, President of Precursor LLC & Chairman of NetCompetition. The discussion was moderated by Executive Director of Digital Liberty, Katie McAuliffe.
Congressman Blackburn’s key note included praise for the development of technologies using internet infrastructure within the business community, including: the automobile industry, education, and the medical industry. Rep. Blackburn, stated that “ [The FCC] cannot create rules on net neutrality… it should be congress that makes that.” She is also the author of the Internet Freedom Act H.R.4070 which limits the ability of the FCC to regulate the Internet and gives Congress that responsibility.
The other panelists commented on the implications of classifying the Internet as a Title II utility. Scott Cleland commented that this would create an environment where Internet service providers would be caught in a,"mother may I?" system, where they would have to ask the FCC for permission in all competitive moves and technological advancements. This type of structure would bog down broadband and telecommunications expansion while also stifling innovation, as companies would be embroiled in months, if not years, of litigation before approval of business decisions.
Cleland, as well as the other panelists Hance Haney and Fred Campbell pointed out that, on the subject of net neutrality, “Fast lanes,” already exist in many markets, most notably package shipping such as UPS and FedEx.