Notebaert Opines on Net Neutrality, Child Protection at Aspen Summit
WASHINGTON D.C. - Qwest Chairman and CEO Richard Notebaert said the Federal Trade Commission would be the most appropriate agency to deal with network neutrality concerns in remarks to The Progress & Freedom Foundation's 2006 Aspen Summit. In his August 22nd morning address, Notebaert shared his views on the communications market, network neutrality mandates, and efforts to ensure child safety on the Internet. PFF is making available Notebaert's written remarks from the Aspen Summit as a Progress on Point to complement the archived webcast of the speech.
During his address, Notebaert warned against additional governmental oversight of the Internet, stating it could harm further investment in broadband infrastructure. Instead, he voiced support for FTC action on broadband competition concerns on a case-by-case basis. "So the FTC - a law-based, non-political, consumer-focused regulatory body - has the authority to oversee Internet access services. And I agree with The Progress & Freedom Foundation's position that the FTC is not only able to regulate Internet services, it is the most appropriate government entity to do so.” “Rarely do they act in a pre-emptive way," he explained. "Instead, it is institutionally directed toward investigating and remedying specific claims of wrongdoing. And when they address these issues, the FTC has to prove its case. Facts prevail."
Notebaert also addressed his company's efforts to protect children from predators and unsuitable content on the Internet. "Just as we insist on knowing where [our children are] headed as they walk out the door on Saturday night, we need to know what they're doing on the Internet. Without supervision, they're one click away from revealing personal information to someone with evil intentions. Or from accessing all kinds of inappropriate material. So we need to educate ourselves. Then educate our kids." He described the outreach undertaken by Qwest, including the launch of an Internet safety website for parents and children, www.IncredibleInternet.com, and community initiatives with local schools.
The theme of this year's Aspen Summit, "Global Competition, Convergence & Culture," covered a variety of issues including communications regulatory reform, e-commerce, content regulation, and intellectual property. Keynote speakers included FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras, renowned University of Chicago Law Professor Richard Epstein, and Sumner Redstone, Executive Chairman and Founder of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corporation. Webcasts of keynotes and discussion panels can be found on the PFF website.
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.