July 20, 2017

AALL, ALA, and COSLA Files Comments with FCC Re: Net Neutrality

From an ALA Announcement:

Today in comments filed at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), ALA questions the need to review current net neutrality rules and urges regulators to maintain the strong, enforceable rules already in place.

“Network neutrality is all about equity of access to information, and thus of fundamental interest to libraries,” said ALA President Jim Neal. “The 2015 Open Internet Order is the right reading of the law, and we do not see any reason for the FCC to arbitrarily return to this issue now. Without strong, enforceable rules protecting the open internet—like those outlined in the FCC’s 2015 Order—libraries cannot fulfill their missions, serve their patrons or support America’s communities.”

The ALA comments, filed with the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA), make clear that our nation’s 120,000 libraries—and their patrons—depend on fair access to broadband networks for basic services they provide in communities like connecting people to unbiased research, job searches, e-government services, health information and economic opportunity.

Moreover, as people increasingly turn from being solely content consumers to content producers, access to the internet and other library resources empower all to participate fully in today’s vibrant digital economy. And, the comments note, the library community has always had the professional and philosophical mission of preserving the unimpeded flow of information and intellectual freedom. Libraries believe ensuring equitable access for all people and institutions is critical to our nation’s social, cultural, educational and economic well-being and the existing net neutrality rules protect that access.

Absent strong, enforceable rules, commercial ISPs have financial incentives to interfere with the openness of the internet in ways that are likely to be harmful to people who use the internet content and services provided by libraries. Being able to prioritize their own content over anything else available online would allow ISPs to reap huge dividends at internet users’ expense. Pointing to increasing consolidation in the fixed and mobile broadband markets, the comments argue that these rules are becoming more necessary, not less.

Direct to Comments Filed with FCC (32 pages; PDF)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

Share