NAICU Washington Update

NAICU Urges FCC to Retain Existing Net Neutrality Rules

July 31, 2017

In an effort coordinated by EDUCAUSE, NAICU joined eight other associations representing the education and research communities in opposing proposed revisions to Internet net neutrality laws.  Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced plans to revise existing rules that require Internet providers to treat all web traffic equally. Known as net neutrality, the current rules, which were established by the Obama Administration in 2015, are intended to prevent Internet providers from giving preferential treatment to certain customers.

Citing the negative impact the proposed changes would have on higher education, the coalition of organizations, in comments submitted to the FCC, urged the Commission to retain the existing net neutrality rules. Specifically, the comments emphasize that libraries and institutions of higher education rely on a free and open Internet to fulfill their educational and research missions. The comments also note that institutions of higher education play a vital role in ensuring the free flow of information, providing Internet services to underserved populations, and developing innovative uses of the Internet. Thus, the comments argue that the repeal of the net neutrality rules would undermine these service.

Although there is no set timeline for the FCC to release the new rules, it is anticipated that the agency will issue them at some point this fall.

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