CONCURRING STATEMENT OF
COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL
Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet
, GN Docket No. 14-28.
I support an open Internet. But I would have done this differently. Before proceeding, I would
have taken time to understand the future. Because the future of the Internet is the future of everything.
There is nothing in our commercial and civic lives that will be untouched by its influence or unmoved by
its power. I would have taken time for more input. Because I think as public servants we have a duty to
acknowledge and respond to the great tide of public commentary that followed in the wake of the
Chairman’s proposal. Even now, the phone calls continue, the e-mails pour in, and the web itself is
ablaze with commentary on how this Commission should proceed.
It’s no wonder. Our Internet economy is the envy of the world. We invented it. The broadband
below us and the airwaves all around us deliver its collective might to our homes and businesses in
communities across the country. The applications economy began here—on our shores. What produced
this dynamic engine of entrepreneurship and experimentation is a foundation of openness. Sustaining
what has made us innovative, fierce, and creative should not be a choice—it should be an obligation.
As we proceed, we are also obligated to protect what has made the Internet the most dynamic
platform for free speech ever invented. It is our modern town square. It is our printing press. It is our
shared platform for opportunity. Online we are sovereign—we can choose, create, and consume content
unimpeded by the preferences of our broadband providers. Sustaining this freedom is essential.
As we proceed, we also must keep front of mind the principles of fairness and protection from
discrimination that have informed every proceeding involving the Internet that has been before this
agency. These are the essential values in our communications laws. They are the ones we have honored
in the past; they must guide us in the future. So going forward we must honor transparency, ban
blocking, and prevent unreasonable discrimination. We cannot have a two-tiered Internet, with fast lanes
that speed the traffic of the privileged and leave the rest of us lagging behind.
So I support network neutrality. But I believe the process that got us to this rulemaking today is
flawed. I would have preferred a delay. I think we moved too fast to be fair. So I concur. But I want to
acknowledge that the Chairman has made significant adjustments to the text of the rulemaking we adopt
today. He has expanded its scope and put all options on the table. Our effort now covers law and policy,
Section 706 and Title II.
If past is prologue, the future of this proceeding, the future of network neutrality, and the future of
the Internet is still being written. I am hopeful that we can write it together—and I am mindful that we
must get it right.