Skip to main content


Internet Association Releases White Paper Highlighting Principles And Policies Necessary To Protect Net Neutrality

BECKERMAN: “The internet industry believes strong, legally sustainable net neutrality rules are necessary to allow the entire internet ecosystem to flourish, and this policy paper illustrates that.”


Washington, DC – Internet Association released a new white paper entitled “Principles to Preserve and Protect an Open Internet” that details baseline net neutrality principles and policies needed to protect consumers and preserve the virtuous circle of broadband innovation.

“The internet industry believes strong, legally sustainable net neutrality rules are necessary to allow the entire internet ecosystem to flourish, and this policy paper illustrates that,” said IA President & CEO Michael Beckerman. “The 2015 Open Internet Order adheres to these principles and we support keeping these rules.”

The policy paper highlights the broad consensus among all internet ecosystem stakeholders – including internet service providers (ISPs) – about the need for strong, enforceable net neutrality rules. Too often the debate over net neutrality focuses solely on the FCC’s legal jurisdiction, rather than the substance of the underlying rules. However, the details of these rules matter and the paper outlines six principles and policies for preserving a free and open internet by which all proposals and potential changes to the rules will be judged:

  1. Net neutrality rules preserve the success of the internet in driving economic growth, spurring innovation, and advancing individual expression and democratic discourse.
  2. The FCC’s 2015 rules are working and the entire broadband internet ecosystem is thriving.
  3. Ex ante rules remain necessary to preserve and protect an open internet.
  4. Specific net neutrality rules are needed to preserve an open internet. These rules include: no blocking, no throttling, no paid prioritization, no unreasonable interference or disadvantaging of content by ISPs, and transparency and disclosure requirements.
  5. Open internet protections should apply to broadband internet access providers on a platform-neutral basis, including wired, terrestrial wireless, and satellite connections.
  6. Strong and effective enforcement of net neutrality rules is critical to ensuring that the benefits of the rules are realized. Absent legislation that fundamentally changes allocations of relevant federal agencies’ authority, net neutrality rules should be enforced by the expert agency in the field, namely the FCC.

Also featured in the paper are testimonials from three IA member companies: Etsy, TransferWise, and Vimeo.

From Etsy CEO Josh Silverman’s Testimonial: “Our sellers’ success depends on strong net neutrality protections. As microbusinesses, ‘internet fast lanes’ are more likely to be unaffordable, undermining their ability to compete with bigger, more established brands. We know that delays of just milliseconds negatively impact sales.”

From the paper: “A free and open internet remains vital to preserving and protecting the virtuous circle of broadband innovation that benefits edge-based innovators and entrepreneurs, businesses, ISPs, and, above all, consumers. The existing FCC rules are working and have not resulted in harms to ISPs, who continue to experience growth in investment, network capacity, and demand for BIAS services. Undoing the existing light touch rules will create uncertainty among edge providers, innovators, and consumers, and would threaten to unravel the most dynamic segment of our economy. Instead, policymakers should seek to preserve the current rules and ensure that they remain on a firm legal footing.”

To read the full white paper, click here.