Can the FCC regulate the Internet? The Open Internet Order on trial
About This Event

Event Summary

The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Open Internet Order is a far-reaching regulatory regime on telecommunications and the entire Internet ecosystem. Technology experts convened in a Google Hangout on Thursday afternoon to discuss Verizon's upcoming oral argument against the FCC's order. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation's Richard Bennett kicked off the panel discussing the harmful impact of net neutrality on innovation and why ex-ante regulations are not appropriate in today’s technological age.

Robert McDowell of the Hudson Institute then emphasized that the FCC overstepped its legal boundaries by implementing the Open Internet Order, exacerbated the international movement to regulate the Internet, and politicized internet regulation. Daniel Lyons of Boston College Law School followed by outlining Verizon's arguments for why the Open Internet Order should be overturned. He explained that the order violates broadband providers' First Amendment rights by restricting the mode and content of their communications.

Pepperdine Law School's Babette Boliek continued, questioning the legality of net neutrality under the FCC's Title I jurisdiction. She concluded that if the court finds the jurisdiction for net neutrality lacking, there will be legal and economic pitfalls to a potential Title II classification of Internet service providers.
--Brittany Pineros

Event Description

On September 9, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit will hear oral arguments challenging the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) net-neutrality regulations. The outcome has important implications for the future of Internet regulation, including the extent of the FCC's authority to regulate online speech and its ability to impose public utility-style regulation on the Internet. In this Google Hangout, experts will explain the case and its implications for the future of the Internet.

Do you have a question you'd like the panelists to address? Leave it in the comments section on Google Plus ►

If you do not have a Google Plus account, we invite you to watch the livestream on this page on September 5 at 4:30 PM ET.

Agenda

4:30 PM
Discussants:    
Richard Bennett, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Babette Boliek, Pepperdine Law School
Daniel Lyons, Boston College Law School
Robert McDowell, Hudson Institute

Moderator:
Jeffrey Eisenach, AEI

5:30 PM
Adjournment

 

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Brittany Pineros at [email protected], 202.862.5926.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Babette Boliek is an assistant professor of law at the Pepperdine University School of Law. Before Pepperdine, Boliek served as a senior fellow at the Information Economy Project at George Mason University School of Law and as a fellow at the Center for Communication Law and Policy, a joint research venture of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law and the Annenberg School of Communication. While in private practice in New York City, Boliek worked primarily with clients in the media and telecommunications industries, and her practice areas included mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and corporate finance. She has also clerked for the Honorable Michael B. Mukasey of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Jeffrey Eisenach is a visiting scholar at AEI. Eisenach has served in senior positions at the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of Management and Budget. At AEI, he focuses on policies affecting the information technology sector, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Eisenach is also a managing director and a principal at Navigant Economics and an adjunct professor at the George Mason University School of Law, where he teaches Regulated Industries. He writes on a wide range of issues, including industrial organization, communications policy and the Internet, government regulations, labor economics, and public finance. He has also taught at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute. 

Robert McDowell is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute and a former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2006 to 2013. Before his FCC confirmation, he was senior vice president and assistant general counsel of Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel), an industry trade group of competitive telephone companies. Before joining CompTel in February 1999, McDowell served as the executive vice president and general counsel of America's Carriers Telecommunications Association.

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