Open Internet Roundtable - Law

9:30 am - 1:00 pm EDT
Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC

Part 1


Part 2

Internet Openness and the Law

In the 2014 Open Internet NPRM, the Commission began the process of closing the gap created by the Verizon decision, which left no legally enforceable rules for the Commission to prevent broadband providers from acting to limit Internet openness. The 2014 Open Internet NPRM sought broad public comment on how the Commission should ensure that the Internet remains open, and proposed new rules and enhancements to current rules.

To further develop our understanding of the issues, the Commission is hosting a series of staff-led Open Internet Roundtable Discussions that are free and open to the public. The Open Internet Roundtable Discussions provide an opportunity for the Commission staff and interested parties to further examine the actions the Commission should take for its goal of determining the best approach to protecting and promoting Internet openness.

The roundtable discussions will focus on public policy considerations and how they should be addressed to protect and promote Internet openness in both the fixed and mobile markets; the technological considerations involved in protecting the open Internet; how the competitive landscape and the economics of providing broadband and online services affects Internet openness; how the Commission can effectively enforce the current and proposed open Internet requirements; and the various legal theories underlying possible Commission actions in this area.

Attendance and Participation: The roundtables will be free and open to the public, and the FCC also will stream them live at https://www.fcc.gov/live. The location of the roundtables will be the Commission Meeting Room (TW-C305), 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C., 20554. The FCC will make available an overflow room for those in-person attendees who cannot be accommodated in the Commission Meeting Room. We advise persons planning to attend the roundtables in person to leave sufficient time to enter through building security.

The FCC encourages members of the public to submit suggested questions in advance and during the roundtables by email to roundtables@fcc.gov or on Twitter using the hashtag #FCCRoundtables. Please note that by submitting a question, you will be making a filing in an official FCC proceeding. All information submitted, including names, addresses, and other personal information contained in the message, may be publicly available online.

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. The request should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed and contact information. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible in order to allow the agency to satisfy such requests whenever possible. Send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

For additional information about this roundtable on Internet Openness and the Law, please contact Andrew Erber, Office of General Counsel, at Andrew.Erber@fcc.gov.


Welcome and Opening Remarks - 9:30 - 9:45 am

Roundtable 1: Sources of Legal Authority - 9:45 - 11:15 am
This roundtable will discuss the sources of authority on which the Commission could ground Open Internet rules, including a range of approaches relying on Section 706, Title II, and other possible sources of authority.

  • Panelists:
    • Mark Cooper, Director of Research, Consumer Federation of America
    • Gus Hurwitz, Assistant Professor of Law, Nebraska College of Law
    • Pantelis Michalopoulos, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
    • Thomas Navin, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
    • Nuala O’Connor, President and CEO, Center for Democracy and Technology
    • Tim Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
  • Moderators:
    • Jonathan Sallet, General Counsel, FCC
    • Stephanie Weiner, Special Advisor to the Chairman on Internet Law and Policy & Associate General Counsel, FCC

Roundtable 2: Construction of Legally Sustainable Rules - 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
This roundtable will consider additional legal issues, including constitutional considerations, the nature of common-carriage regulation, and approaches to agency rulemaking and adjudication using tools like prescriptive rules, legal standards, prohibitions, and presumptions to protect and promote Internet openness.

  • Panelists:
    • Marvin Ammori, Fellow, New America Foundation
    • Anne Boyle, Commissioner, Nebraska Public Service Commission
    • Fred Campbell, Director, Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology
    • Julia Johnson, Chair, Minority Media & Telecommunications Council
    • Tejas Narechania, Julius Silver Research Fellow, Columbia Law School
    • John Windhausen, Jr., President, Telepoly Consulting
  • Moderators:
    • Jonathan Sallet, General Counsel, FCC
    • Stephanie Weiner, Special Advisor to the Chairman on Internet Law and Policy & Associate General Counsel, FCC

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