NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

Net Fatality

Internet for All at Stake

America is on a critical mission to deliver Internet for All. The Biden administration is distributing tens of billions in unprecedented funding to states to close the digital divide. Internet providers, fully committed to connecting unserved communities, are investing billions more in private capital to complete the job.

Instead of clearing obstacles to speed up this important work, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved unnecessary regulation that will slam the brakes on internet for all and deny millions – especially in rural areas – the important opportunities that high-speed internet brings.

The FCC’s plan under the auspices of “net neutrality” is actually a Net Fatality.

The FCC's Misguided Plan

Internet service providers have always delivered open, unrestricted internet service. Consumers enjoy the web content and applications of their choosing without any blocking, throttling, or interference.

Yet, in a misguided effort to “solve” an imagined net neutrality problem – which there is no evidence – the FCC has now reimposed regulations that were shelved seven years ago.

But this time, the stakes have never been higher: Internet for All.

The historic initiative already faces obstacles such as labor shortages, inflation, and supply chain disruptions. The FCC’s efforts to impose utility rules on broadband will obstruct efforts to connect those still waiting for the internet access they deserve.

Heavy-handed regulation will inject uncertainty, depress provider participation, and jeopardize the Administration’s Internet for All initiative. 

Broadband is an American success story

We Need Internet for All

Under the guise of net neutrality, the FCC has approved sweeping regulation that jeopardizes the mission to provide every American with the reliable internet access they deserve.

Michael Powell, President & CEO, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association
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"While reviving net neutrality will check a partisan political box, it risks blowing our once-in-a-lifetime chance to get all Americans the internet access they deserve."

Michael Powell, President & CEO, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association

An Internet Built for All

Broadband providers are delivering consumers an open internet with more competitive choices, faster speeds, and lower prices than ever before.

in private capital invested to build and upgrade America’s broadband networks since 19961
of U.S. customers have multiple choices for wired or wireless broadband2
of American homes and businesses already have access to gigabit-speed service3
amount real U.S. broadband prices (adjusted for inflation) have fallen since 20174
1) USTelecom 2) USTelecom; 3) FCC 4) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A crew of technicians pull cables from their truck to lay in the ground

The cable industry is committed to building out high-speed networks to all corners of the country, ensuring everyone has access to our nation’s opportunity infrastructure.

Internet Regulation Timeline

A timeline of internet regulations from the late 1990s until today.

  • 1999

    July 20, 1999

    FCC Chairman Kennard, appointed by President Clinton, establishes a policy of a light regulatory touch for the Internet’s early days.

  • 2002

    March 14, 2002

    FCC Chairman Michael Powell classifies broadband internet access as a Title I interstate information service.

  • 2003

    June 5, 2003

    Law professor Tim Wu coins the term “net neutrality” in his paper “Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination.”

  • 2004

    February 28, 2004

    FCC Chairman Powell introduces “Four Internet Freedoms,” Freedom to (1) access content; (2) run applications; (3) attach devices; (4) obtain service plan information.

  • 2005

    March 3, 2005

    The FCC negotiates an agreement with Madison River Communication where Madison River agrees to “refrain from blocking” phone calls.

    June 27, 2005

    In FCC vs. Brand X, the Supreme Court upholds FCC’s authority to define the classification of broadband as an information service under Title I.

    September 23, 2005

    FCC reclassifies internet access across the phone network, including DSL, as a Title I information service.

  • 2008

    August 1, 2008

    Comcast vs. BitTorrent decision by FCC Chairman Martin – FCC hands Comcast a cease-and-desist order.

  • 2010

    April 6, 2010

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit dismisses the FCC’s cease and desist order against Comcast.

    December 21, 2010

    FCC Open Internet Order makes net neutrality rules official FCC regulation for the first time.

  • 2014

    January 14, 2014

    In Verizon vs. FCC, DC Circuit rules that as a Title I information service, FCC has no authority to adopt net neutrality regulations.

    November 10, 2014

    President Obama calls on the FCC to reclassify broadband as Title II.

  • 2015

    February 26, 2015

    FCC votes to 3-2 to classify the internet as a public utility under Title II of The Communications Act.

  • 2019

    October 1, 2019

    In Mozilla Corp. v. FCC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upholds the FCC’s decision to restore Title I classification of broadband and remands some minor issues back to the agency.

  • 2023

    October 19, 2023

    The FCC votes to move toward reinstating net neutrality rules and establishing regulatory oversight of the internet.

  • 2024

    April 25, 2024

    The FCC votes 3-2 to reinstate net neutrality rules and reclassify the internet under Title II, establishing regulatory oversight of the internet.