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Safeguarding and Securing the Open Internet: Ex Parte Comments of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration

March 21, 2024

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is pleased to offer ex parte comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) in the above-captioned proceeding. As the President’s principal advisor on telecommunications and information policy, NTIA is charged with developing, coordinating, and presenting the Executive Branch’s views to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission). NTIA is deeply committed to advancing the Internet for All programs and promoting a robust digital economy. NTIA commends the Commission for opening this important proceeding, consistent with the Biden Administration’s recommendation that the Commission adopt “through appropriate rulemaking ‘Net Neutrality’ rules similar to those previously adopted under Title II of the Communications Act” in 2015.

The Commission should act to reinstate strong net neutrality rules. An Internet that is open, secure, and accessible to all is an Internet that drives innovation, economic growth, and the free exchange of ideas around the world. Net neutrality helps ensure that creators of new Internet-based applications and content, for example, are able to make their products available to users around the world without needing to negotiate with every Internet service provider. Similarly, open Internet protections enable end users to choose their preferred content, devices, applications, and services, allowing them to make meaningful use of today’s information technologies as circumstances change, while driving continued technological evolution. These are just some of the ways in which well-crafted rules of the road can help ensure continued innovation and opportunity online. 

NTIA also supports the Commission’s proposal to return broadband Internet access service (BIAS) “to its classification as a telecommunications service under Title II” of the Communications Act and “to reclassify mobile BIAS as a commercial mobile service.” That said, and as the Commission recognizes throughout its Notice, there is more to Title II than net neutrality alone. For example, reclassification can also advance national security objectives. NTIA supports reclassification on these grounds, while urging the Commission to reaffirm its long-running commitment to a whole-of-government and multistakeholder approach toward these complex national security matters.