National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators Calls on Congress and the FCC to Draft Legislation and Regulation to Encourage the Rapid Deployment of Broadband Networks Without Net Neutrality Amendments
Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz, NY NHCSL President
Adopted by the Caucus on November 18, 2006
WHEREAS, the FCC has crafted sufficient Internet protection principles, released with the 2005 Policy Statement deregulating broadband;
WHEREAS, the exponential growth of the Internet has flourished as a result of both the government’s ‘hand’s off’ approach, ever increasing competition, and driving consumer interest, and
WHEREAS, regulation of the Internet may interfere with future investment and innovations benefiting the health and well-being of its end user customers, including the Hispanic community and
WHEREAS, Internet users should be given a choice when it comes to selecting a broadband connection that will meet their current and future needs for speed, reliability, quality of service, and capabilities not yet envisioned, and
WHEREAS, broadband connections, services, and applications should continue to become more affordable and accessible to all consumers, and
WHEREAS, consumers have benefited from the Internet access providers’ investment in broadband networks that have fueled such innovations as downloading music, instant messaging, internet telephony, and e-commerce for such items as books and autos, and
WHEREAS, consumers will continue to benefit from the investment in broadband networks that are faster, less susceptible to hackers and spammers, and allow consumers more access and innovative services, such as at-home health monitoring or an online movie rental company empowered to deliver its products with security and privacy ensured, and
WHEREAS, consumers should determine how content and services are delivered over the Internet, and
WHEREAS, as long as consumers are free to take or reject any option, Internet access providers should be free to offer new service and pricing options, and
WHEREAS, innovation to meet consumer demand should be encouraged, so that consumers experience the best Internet possible, and
WHEREAS, companies that invest in broadband and broadband-related applications should be afforded the flexibility to explore fair and competitive business models and pricing plans for their products and services, and
WHEREAS, mandated net neutrality regulations would impede future capital investments in the U.S.’ broadband infrastructure, which already lags behind its European and Asian counterparts, and
WHEREAS, according to a 2006 International Telecommunications Union (ITU) study of 2004 data, the U.S. ranked 16th in broadband penetration and could decline further as proposed net neutrality regulations places more of the cost burden onto the end user, exacerbating an already disturbing trend of a ‘digital divide’ within our country.
THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislatures calls upon the Congress of the United States of America to refrain from legislation that would regulate the Internet and to maintain today’s approach that allows the competitive marketplace to drive broadband and broadband-related applications development and deployment free from governmental regulation.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, in the event Congressional legislative action is deemed warranted, that the Congress should avoid adopting new rules and limit such action to providing the FCC with authority to oversee, but not proactively intervene in, the broadband Internet marketplace by adopting principles that focus on assessing whether the market continues to ensure that consumers can:
(1) receive meaningful information regarding their broadband service plans;
(2) have access to their choice of legal Internet content, subject to the limits on bandwidth and quality of service of their service plan;
(3) run applications of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement and the limits on bandwidth limits and quality of service of their service plans, as long as they do not harm the provider’s network or interfere with other consumers’ use of the broadband service; and
(4) be permitted to attach any devices they choose to their broadband connection at the consumer’s premise, so long as they operate within the limits on bandwidth and quality of service of their service plans and do not harm the provider’s network, interfere with other consumers’ use of the broadband service, or enable theft of services: and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED BY the Fourth National Summit of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the President of the United States, members of Congress and the members of the Federal Communications Commission.
This resolution was adopted this November 18, 2006, at the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators Executive Committee & BBA Annual Meeting held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.