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F E D E R AL C O MMUNI CATI ONS

C OM M ISSION

W AS HI NGT ON

OFFICE Of

June 30, 2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Fred Upton

Chairman

Committee on Energy and Commerce

U.S. House of Representatives

2125 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Upton:

Thank you for contacting me with your views regarding the Commission's efforts to

reinstate rules to preserve and protect the Open Internet. As you know, the Notice of Proposed

Rulemaking ("Notice") adopted by the Commission in May 2014 proposes rules that would

replace those struck down early this year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in its

Verizon decision, and we ask a number of questions about the appropriate legal foundation for

such rules. Your letter touches on some of the most important issues presented in the Notice, and

it will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the Commission's

review.

The Commission has been working for more than a decade to safeguard the Open

Internet. While there has been a bipartisan consensus, starting under the Bush Administration

with Chairman Powell, on the importance of an open Internet to economic growth, investment,

and innovation, we find ourselves today without any rules in place to protect and promote

Internet openness. The status quo is unacceptable. Unless and until the FCC adopts new rules,

broadband providers will be free to block, degrade, or otherwise disadvantage innovative

services on the Internet without threat of sanction by the FCC. As Chairman, I will utilize the

best tools available to me to ensure the Commission adopts effective and resilient open Internet

rules.

The court's decision in Verizon established unequivocally that the Commission has the

legal authority under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to craft enforceable

rules to protect and promote an open Internet for all Americans. Specifically, the court agreed

with the Commission's conclusion that an open Internet enables a virtuous cycle of investment

and broadband deployment -

i.e., that innovative content and services at the edge of the network

drive consumer demand for broadband services, which drives investment in broadband

infrastructure and deployment, which drives more innovation at the network's edges, and so on.

The court affirmed that it is the Commission's responsibility to protect this virtuous cycle and

that Section 706 authorizes us to do so.

I believe that the Section 706 framework set forth by the court provides us with the tools

we need to adopt and implement robust and enforceable Open Internet rules. For this reason, the

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Page 2-

The Honorable Fred Upton

Notice used the court's legal blueprint as a starting point. Nevertheless, the Commission also is

seriously considering the use of Title II of the Communications Act as a basis for legal authority.

The Notice explains that both Section 706 and Title II are viable solutions to the authority issue,

and seeks comment on the benefits of each approach, as well as the benefits of one approach

over the other, to ensuring that the Internet remains an open platform for innovation and

expression. Additionally, the Notice seeks comment on other proposals suggesting the

Commission could apply both Section 706 and Title II to component parts of broadband Internet

access services. And to your concerns about the "common carrier-ization" of broadband, the

Notice asks about the extent to which forbearance from certain provisions of the Act or our rules

would be justified so that the regulatory treatment of broadband providers is appropriately

balanced.

This Notice is the first step in the process, and I look forward to comments from all

interested stakeholders, including members of the general public, as we develop a fulsome record

on the legal authority and many other questions raised in the Notice. To that end, in an effort to

maximize public participation in this proceeding, we have established an Open Internet email

address -

openinternet@fcc.gov -

to ensure that Americans who may not otherwise have the

opportunity to participate in an FCC proceeding can make their voices heard. In addition, to

ensure sufficient opportunity for broad public comment, we have provided a lengthy comment

and reply period that will give everyone an opportunity to participate.

Again, I appreciate your deep interest in this matter and look forward to a continued

engagement with you as we move forward with this proceeding.

image03-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

OF"F"ICE OF"

June 30, 2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Greg Walden

Chairman

Subcommittee on Communications and Technology

Committee on Energy and Commerce

U.S. House of Representatives

2125 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Walden:

Thank you for contacting me with your views regarding the Commission's efforts to

reinstate rules to preserve and protect the Open Internet. As you know, the Notice of Proposed

Rulemaking ("Notice") adopted by the Commission in May 2014 proposes rules that would

replace those struck down early this year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in its

Verizon decision, and we ask a number of questions about the appropriate legal foundation for

such rules. Your letter touches on some of the most important issues presented in the Notice, and

it will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the Commission's

review.

The Commission has been working for more than a decade to safeguard the Open

Internet. While there has been a bipartisan consensus, starting under the Bush Administration

with Chairman Powell, on the importance of an open Internet to economic growth, investment,

and innovation, we find ourselves today without any rules in place to protect and promote

Internet openness. The status quo is unacceptable. Unless and until the FCC adopts new rules,

broadband providers will be free to block, degrade, or otherwise disadvantage innovative

services on the Internet without threat of sanction by the FCC. As Chairman, I will utilize the

best tools available to me to ensure the Commission adopts effective and resilient open Internet

rules.

The court's decision in Verizon established unequivocally that the Commission has the

legal authority under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to craft enforceable

rules to protect and promote an open Internet for all Americans. Specifically, the court agreed

with the Commission's conclusion that an open Internet enables a virtuous cycle of investment

and broadband deployment -

i.e., that innovative content and services at the edge of the network

drive consumer demand for broadband services, which drives investment in broadband

infrastructure and deployment, which drives more innovation at the network's edges, and so on.

The court affirmed that it is the Commission's responsibility to protect this virtuous cycle and

that Section 706 authorizes us to do so.

image04-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Greg Walden

I believe that the Section 706 framework set forth by the court provides us with the tools

we need to adopt and implement robust and enforceable Open Internet rules. For this reason, the

Notice used the court's legal blueprint as a starting point. Nevertheless, the Commission also is

seriously considering the use ofTitle II of the Communications Act as a basis for legal authority.

The Notice explains that both Section 706 and Title II are viable solutions to the authority issue,

and seeks comment on the benefits of each approach, as well as the benefits of one approach

over the other, to ensuring that the Internet remains an open platform for innovation and

expression. Additionally, the Notice seeks comment on other proposals suggesting the

Commission could apply both Section 706 and Title II to component parts of broadband Internet

access services. And to your concerns about the "common carrier-ization" of broadband, the

Notice asks about the extent to which forbearance from certain provisions of the Act or our rules

would be justified so that the regulatory treatment of broadband providers is appropriately

balanced.

This Notice is the first step in the process, and I look forward to comments from all

interested stakeholders, including members of the general public, as we develop a fulsome record

on the legal authority and many other questions raised in the Notice. To that end, in an effort to

maximize public participation in this proceeding, we have established an Open Internet email

address -

openinternet@fcc.gov- to ensure that Americans who may not otherwise have the

opportunity to participate in an FCC proceeding can make their voices heard. In addition, to

ensure sufficient opportunity for broad public comment, we have provided a lengthy comment

and reply period that will give everyone an opportunity to participate.

Again, I appreciate your deep interest in this matter and look forward to a continued

engagement with you as we move forward with this proceeding.

Sincerely,

Tom Wheeler

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FEDERAL C OMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

W ASHINGTON

OFFICE OF

June 30, 2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Marsha Blackburn

U.S. House of Representatives

217 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congresswoman Blackburn:

Thank you for contacting me with your views regarding the Commission's efforts to

reinstate rules to preserve and protect the Open Internet. As you know, the Notice of Proposed

Rulemaking ("Notice") adopted by the Commission in May 2014 proposes rules that would

replace those struck down early this year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in its

Verizon decision, and we ask a number of questions about the appropriate legal foundation for

such rules. Your letter touches on some of the most important issues presented in the Notice, and

it will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the Commission's

review.

The Commission has been working for more than a decade to safeguard the Open

Internet. While there has been a bipartisan consensus, starting under the Bush Administration

with Chairman Powell, on the importance of an open Internet to economic growth, investment,

and innovation, we find ourselves today without any rules in place to protect and promote

Internet openness. The status quo is unacceptable. Unless and until the FCC adopts new rules,

broadband providers will be free to block, degrade, or otherwise disadvantage innovative

services on the Internet without threat of sanction by the FCC. As Chairman, I will utilize the

best tools available to me to ensure the Commission adopts effective and resilient open Internet

rules.

The court's decision in Verizon established unequivocally that the Commission has the

legal authority under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to craft enforceable

rules to protect and promote an open Internet for all Americans. Specifically, the court agreed

with the Commission's conclusion that an open Internet enables a virtuous cycle of investment

and broadband deployment -

i.e., that innovative content and services at the edge of the network

drive consumer demand for broadband services, which drives investment in broadband

infrastructure and deployment, which drives more innovation at the network's edges, and so on.

The court affirmed that it is the Commission's responsibility to protect this virtuous cycle and

that Section 706 authorizes us to do so.

I believe that the Section 706 framework set forth by the court provides us with the tools

we need to adopt and implement robust and enforceable Open Internet rules. For this reason, the

Notice used the court's legal blueprint as a starting point. Nevertheless, the Commission also is

seriously considering the use of Title II of the Communications Act as a basis for legal authority.

image06-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-

The Honorable Marsha Blackburn

The Notice explains that both Section 706 and Title II are viable solutions to the authority issue,

and seeks comment on the benefits of each approach, as well as the benefits of one approach

over the other, to ensuring that the Internet remains an open platform for innovation and

expression. Additionally, the Notice seeks comment on other proposals suggesting the

Commission could apply both Section 706 and Title II to component parts of broadband Internet

access services. And to your concerns about the "common carrier-ization" of broadband, the

Notice asks about the extent to which forbearance from certain provisions of the Act or our rules

would be justified so that the regulatory treatment of broadband providers is appropriately

balanced.

This Notice is the first step in the process, and I look forward to comments from all

interested stakeholders, including members of the general public, as we develop a fulsome record

on the legal authority and many other questions raised in the Notice. To that end, in an effort to

maximize public participation in this proceeding, we have established an Open Internet email

address -

openinternet@fcc.gov- to ensure that Americans who may not otherwise have the

opportunity to participate in an FCC proceeding can make their voices heard. In addition, to

ensure sufficient opportunity for broad public comment, we have provided a lengthy comment

and reply period that will give everyone an opportunity to participate.

Again, I appreciate your deep interest in this matter and look forward to a continued

engagement with you as we move forward with this proceeding.

Sincerely,

Tom Wheeler

image07-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL COMMUN ICAT I ONS COMMISSION

W ASH I NGTON

OFFICE OF

June 30,2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Bob Latta

U.S. House of Representatives

2448 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Latta:

Thank you for contacting me with your views regarding the Commission's efforts to

reinstate rules to preserve and protect the Open Internet. As you know, the Notice of Proposed

Rule making ("Notice") adopted by the Commission in May 2014 proposes rules that would

replace those struck down early this year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in its

Verizon decision, and we ask a number of questions about the appropriate legal foundation for

such rules. Your letter touches on some of the most important issues presented in the Notice, and

it will be included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the Commission's

review.

The Commission has been working for more than a decade to safeguard the Open

Internet. While there has been a bipartisan consensus, starting under the Bush Administration

with Chairman Powell, on the importance of an open Internet to economic growth, investment,

and innovation, we find ourselves today without any rules in place to protect and promote

Internet openness. The status quo is unacceptable. Unless and until the FCC adopts new rules,

broadband providers will be free to block, degrade, or otherwise disadvantage innovative

services on the Internet without threat of sanction by the FCC. As Chairman, I will utilize the

best tools available to me to ensure the Commission adopts effective and resilient open Internet

rules.

The court's decision in Verizon established unequivocally that the Commission has the

legal authority under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to craft enforceable

rules to protect and promote an open Internet for all Americans. Specifically, the court agreed

with the Commission's conclusion that an open Internet enables a virtuous cycle of investment

and broadband deployment -

i.e., that innovative content and services at the edge of the network

drive consumer demand for broadband services, which drives investment in broadband

infrastructure and deployment, which drives more innovation at the network's edges, and so on.

The court affirmed that it is the Commission's responsibility to protect this virtuous cycle and

that Section 706 authorizes us to do so.

I believe that the Section 706 framework set forth by the court provides us with the tools

we need to adopt and implement robust and enforceable Open Internet rules. For this reason, the

Notice used the court's legal blueprint as a starting point. Nevertheless, the Commission also is

seriously considering the use ofTitle II of the Communications Act as a basis for legal authority.

image08-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-

The Honorable Bob Latta

The Notice explains that both Section 706 and Title II are viable solutions to the authority issue,

and seeks comment on the benefits of each approach, as well as the benefits of one approach

over the other, to ensuring that the Internet remains an open platform for innovation and

expression. Additionally, the Notice seeks comment on other proposals suggesting the

Commission could apply both Section 706 and Title II to component parts of broadband Internet

access services. And to your concerns about the "common carrier-ization" of broadband, the

Notice asks about the extent to which forbearance from certain provisions of the Act or our rules

would be justified so that the regulatory treatment of broadband providers is appropriately

balanced.

This Notice is the first step in the process, and I look forward to comments from all

interested stakeholders, including members of the general public, as we develop a fulsome record

on the legal authority and many other questions raised in the Notice. To that end, in an effort to

maximize public participation in this proceeding, we have established an Open Internet email

address -

openinternet@fcc.gov -

to ensure that Americans who may not otherwise have the

opportunity to participate in an FCC proceeding can make their voices heard. In addition, to

ensure sufficient opportunity for broad public comment, we have provided a lengthy comment

and reply period that will give everyone an opportunity to participate.

Again, I appreciate your deep interest in this matter and look forward to a continued

engagement with you as we move forward with this proceeding.

Sincerely,

Torn Wheeler

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