Internet Association FCC Ex Parte Filing
By ECFS, Internet Association
April 14, 2017
Marlene H. Dortch
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20554
Notice of Ex Parte Presentation, GN Docket No. 14-28, WC Docket No.
16-106; CG Docket No. 02-278
Beckerman, President and CEO, and Abigail Slater, General Counsel,
of the Internet Association (IA) met with Chairman Pai, Matthew
Berry, Rachael Bender, and Jay Schwarz from the Chairman’s office on
April 11th to discuss the Chairman’s agenda with respect
to the 2015 Open Internet Order, the FCC’s recently nullified
broadband consumer privacy rules, and the FCC’s rules implementing
the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
Although not all issues were subject to the FCC’s ex parte
rules, IA wishes to file in order to facilitate transparency.
meeting, IA representatives made the following points with respect
to the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order (“the OI Order”):
continues its vigorous support of the FCC’s OI Order, which is a
vital component of the free and open internet.
The internet industry is uniform in its belief that net
neutrality preserves the consumer experience, competition, and
In other words, existing net neutrality rules should be enforced
and kept intact.
OI Order is working well and has been upheld by a DC Circuit
panel. Further, IA
preliminary economic research suggests that the OI Order did not
have a negative impact on broadband internet access service
focuses its net neutrality advocacy on real world outcomes for
consumers and internet companies. Consumers want and need their
internet experience preserved and protected, regardless of the
legal or regulatory mechanism. While IA continues its work to
protect consumers by maintaining existing FCC rules, its primary
focus is on the end result – meaningful net neutrality rules
that withstand the test of time.
a first principles standpoint:
supports light-touch rules that protect the open internet.
The rules should be ex-ante and enforced by the expert
agency, namely the FCC.
The rules must prohibit BIAS providers from charging for
The rules should apply regardless of whether a user accesses
the internet from a wireline, fixed wireless, or mobile
Interconnection should not be used as a choke point to
artificially slow traffic or extract unreasonable tolls from
- Finally, IA also
emphasized that the details of any net neutrality framework are
important to our members.
With respect to the
recently nullified FCC broadband privacy rules:
Although IA member companies were not subject to the broadband
privacy rulemaking (and are not in an enforcement gap post-CRA)
IA members nonetheless viewed this as an important issue for the
filed several comments with the Commission throughout the
broadband privacy proceeding.
IA agreed with the agency’s position that edge providers
were not subject to the proposed rules since edge companies
were and remain subject to Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”)
jurisdiction with respect to privacy and data security.
IA outlined why any continued departure from the FTC’s
framework should be grounded exclusively in the regulatory,
policy, and economic factors that actually distinguish ISP
and edge provider markets.
The relevant factors include higher financial, legal, and
technical market entry barriers as well as high customer
switching costs when compared to edge provider markets.
IA further noted that “edge providers have more limited
visibility into online practices and consumer information”
than BIAS providers, a conclusion the FTC agreed with in
2012, explaining that BIAS providers are “in a position to
develop highly detailed and comprehensive profiles of their
customers – and to do so in a manner that may be completely
made the following points with respect to the TCPA:
fully supports the original Congressional intent behind the
TCPA, namely stopping unwanted and unwarranted calls into
However, IA members increasingly are subject to TCPA class
action lawsuits in contexts where companies are sending wanted
communications to consumers.
FCC’s 2015 TCPA Order presented an opportunity for the
Commission to provide clarity and legal certainty on key TCPA
provisions e.g. reassigned numbers.
Unfortunately, the FCC denied a number of petitions aimed at
reforming TCPA and the FCC’s order was appealed to the DC
Circuit. IA filed an
amicus brief in support of this appeal.
If and when the DC
Circuit remands the appeal to the FCC, IA will seek to engage with
the FCC on this important issue for our members.
President & CEO