U.S. Businesses Need the Certainty of a Single Open Internet Standard to Thrive
By National ACE
October 30, 2019
The recent DC court decision upholding the current Federal net neutrality rules serves as a temporary respite in a decades-old dance between the Executive Branch and courts. Sadly, the ruling also paves the way for legal battles at the state level by removing the FCC’s preemption of state-based internet regulation. State regulation is appropriate in many areas but not the internet where a single data transmission, such as an email or movie download, often crosses multiple state boundaries. Now, the FCC will need to protect the internet from overzealous state-based regulation case-by-case, dragging this issue on for years to come.
For virtually any business, the internet is perhaps their most important tool to grow, create jobs, and thrive. For the AAPI community, which is fortunate to have attained high levels of academic and professional success, the internet remains a crucial enabler of continued advancement. Nevertheless, the main Federal laws that govern consumer rights online were passed in 1934 and 1996, long before the internet existed and before a handful of social media and search companies came to dominate the online experience through their collection and use of our personal information. For a technology as central to our lives as the internet, it is unacceptable that the Federal laws protecting our online rights remain outdated.
Congress must correct this problem and codify open internet protections that apply across the digital ecosystem. Regardless of their location or business model, every company needs to be held to the same clear standard: consumers should be able to access their choice of online products and services without interference. The principle of an open internet enjoys broad, bipartisan support. It would also go a long way to improving transparency and consumer confidence by making it easier to understand how companies are collecting and using our digital information.
A truly open internet can only be obtained through a uniform national standard that protects all Americans. This is an important issue for the over 22 million-strong Asian-Americans in the U.S.—and especially for the AAPI owned and operated businesses that contribute to our economy and to the communities they call home. A comprehensive national standard that supports consumers and encourages investment and innovation is the right path forward. Now, it’s up to Congress to produce meaningful legislation to that end.