Sign the Petition to

FCC Chairman Wheeler

Dear Chairman Wheeler, please don’t break the Internet. Don’t abandon the “Hands off the ‘Net” approach begun under President Clinton, which unleashed staggering innovation. That bipartisan approach made possible the $1.3 trillion dollars of private investment that built today’s broadband networks. Imposing Title II would hurt all Americans by slowing broadband deployment and creating a cloud of uncertainty over all Internet services.

Title II’s draconian rules were designed in the 1930s for AT&T’s government-created monopoly. They’re a poor fit for the Internet. FCC Chairmen Bill Kennard (D, 1997-2001) and Michael Powell (R, 2001-2005) knew that. So they wisely drew a clear, bright line between Title II and the Internet. We don’t buy claims that the FCC can maintain this firewall if it re-opens Title II. Nor do we trust that the FCC can quickly whittle Title II into something resembling today’s bipartisan “Hands off the Net” approach. You can’t have “just enough Title II” any more than you can be “slightly pregnant.”

Title II would hurt startups most: they can’t cope with regulation as easily as big companies. Title II would protect incumbent broadband companies from new entrants like Google Fiber. Title II would hurt the underserved by slowing deployment and upgrades in minority and rural communities. And Title II would vastly increase the FCC’s powers over the Internet. Remember, you won’t be Chairman forever, and the powers you claim over the Internet today could be used to control it in ways you don’t intend.

Yet, as you’ve noted, Title II wouldn’t even allow the FCC to do what its proponents demand: ban “fast lanes.”

We urge you to carefully focus regulation on real problems, what Chairman Kennard called “vigilant restraint.” But remember Kennard’s digital mantra, too: “First, do no harm.” If you conclude that existing laws aren’t adequate to protect consumers, you should ask Congress for legislation that clearly specifies the boundaries of the FCC’s authority. No government agency should be trusted with a blank check to regulate the Internet at whim — whether that’s Title II or the vast powers the FCC has claimed under Section 706 to do anything it thinks will promote broadband.

Most of all, we want continually better, faster broadband and more competition. Instead of imposing Title II, we urge you to identify regulatory barriers at all levels of government that could be removed to help existing companies keep upgrading their networks, but also help Google Fiber, wireless providers and other private companies to compete.

Competition, not endless litigation and political bickering over Title II, should be your legacy.



This petition closed over 5 years ago

How this will help

Letting the government run the Internet like a utility will lead to abuse. Oppose Title II and protect an open Internet!


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