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CONTACT: Amy Smorodin
March 20 , 2006
(202) 289-8928

DACA Group Opposes Net Neutrality Mandate
Regulatory Working Group Prefers Competition-Based Standard

WASHINGTON D.C. - The regulatory framework proposed by the Digital Age Communications Act project would address "Net Neutrality" concerns without an anticipatory legislative mandate, explains a statement released today by the DACA Regulatory Framework Working Group. The Working Group says its institutional framework tied to adjudication and ex post remedies is preferable to the broad net neutrality mandates contained in many telecommunications reform proposals.

According to DACA Regulatory Framework Working Group Co-Chair James Speta, "The proposal adopted by the DACA Regulatory Framework Working Group is founded upon an "unfair competition" standard, a standard which is grounded in competition law and economics." Speta emphasizes that "the framework contemplates a case-by-case approach that allows technical and business innovation, instead of a thicket of constraining ex ante rules. But the framework's reliance on competition law and economics also provides sufficient analytic power and regulatory tools to address any truly anticompetitive foreclosures that occur on the Internet."

In releasing the statement, Working Group Co-Chair Randolph May, PFF Senior Fellow and Director of Communications Policy Studies, said he hopes that a statement from the entire membership of the group of diverse academics and think tank experts will have an impact on the Net Neutrality debate. "As Congress considers changes to our communications laws, and with so much attention currently focused on 'Net Neutrality' issues, the members of the DACA Project's Regulatory Framework Working Group thought it important to explain why the case-by-case competition-based approach embodied in their Digital Age Communications Act proposal is preferable to adoption of legislation that contains a broad Net Neutrality mandate," states May. "Any such anticipatory Net Neutrality mandate is likely to stifle investment in new networks and innovative services and harm consumer welfare."

Other members of the Regulatory Framework Working Group are Kyle D. Dixon, James L. Gattuso, Raymond L. Gifford, Howard A. Shelanski, Douglas C. Sicker, and Dennis Weisman. The Digital Age Communication Act (DACA) Project was launched in early 2005 with the intent of providing guidance for regulators and legislators on how to address regulatory issues in an era of competing digital services and platforms. DACA consists of dozens of individuals, including PFF fellows, scholars at other think tanks and universities, and public policy officials from the last five presidential administrations. There are five working groups -- Regulatory Framework, Federal/State Framework, Universal Service, Spectrum Policy, and Institutional Reform.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation