A Resolution on Network Neutrality
WHEREAS, it is the mission of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty, and
WHEREAS, ALEC recognizes the unprecedented advances a free and open Internet has fostered across all aspects of society, and
WHEREAS, the exponential growth of the Internet is an American success story – it has flourished as a result of the government’s ‘hand’s off’ approach, ever increasing competition, and fierce consumer interest, and
WHEREAS, burdensome regulation of the Internet will interfere with future investment and innovations benefiting the health and well-being of its end user customers, and
WHEREAS, Internet users have an expanding array of choices when it comes to selecting a broadband connection that will meet their current and future needs for speed, reliability, quality of service, and capabilities not yet envisioned, and
WHEREAS, companies that invest in broadband and broadband-related applications need the flexibility to innovate and explore fair and competitive business models and pricing plans for their products and services, and
WHEREAS, Internet access service, by its very nature, is an interstate service, as even the simplest actions – viewing a webpage, streaming video or shopping online – are likely to cross multiple state and even international boundaries, and
WHEREAS, the FCC has consistently held, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, that the Internet requires a consistent, unified regulatory framework to thrive, and that state net neutrality regulation would be preempted, and
WHEREAS, certain states and local governments have attempted to impose net neutrality regulations on Internet Service Providers, either through ordinances, legislation, or Executive Orders, and
WHEREAS, attempts by state and local governments to impose a patchwork of inconsistent rules risk undermining this ecosystem, creating significant compliance costs that would drive up customers’ bills costs, impede innovation, and delay investments in faster networks, and
WHEREAS, Internet Service Providers across the board have made clear commitments, enforceable at the federal level, to adhere to the consensus net neutrality principles of transparency, no blocking, no throttling, and no unfair discrimination with respect to lawful internet traffic.
WHEREAS, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has engaged in several efforts to impose various net neutrality requirements between 2007 and 2015, which the courts have sometimes rejected and sometimes allowed, and
WHEREAS, in 2017 the FCC restored Internet freedom and reinstated the Federal Trade Commission’s jurisdiction to police any harmful online conduct, in a decision that awaits court review, and
WHEREAS, a consensus has developed among policymakers, consumers, and industry that in order to avoid this ping pong effect of wildly different regulatory regimes, and to avoid regulatory uncertainty and harm to innovation and investment, Congress should enshrine core net neutrality principles into law,
THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the American Legislative Exchange Council calls upon state and local governments to refrain from attempting to impose their own net neutrality obligations, whether through direct regulation, procurement or franchise conditions, or otherwise, in contravention of binding federal law, and
LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED, that the American Legislative Exchange Council calls upon the Congress of the United States of America to enact legislation that would enshrine core net neutrality principles while avoiding common carrier and/or Title II regulation so as to allow the competitive marketplace to drive the development and deployment of broadband and broadband-related applications free from unnecessarily burdensome governmental regulation.
Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors May 2007.
Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors July 2013.
Amended and Retained by the Task Force on Communications & Technology April 27, 2018
Reapproved by the ALEC Board of Directors May 24, 2018.