Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

 Email  Share  Print

ACE, Higher Education Groups Submit Brief in Support of Restoring Net Neutrality Rules

August 28, 2018

 

​​ACE and 19 other higher education associations submitted a brief yesterday to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a case that seeks to reverse the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality.

The commission rescinded the Obama-era net neutrality rules, designed to prevent broadband service providers from slowing or blocking internet traffic or demanding payment for faster speed across their networks, on a 3-2 party-line vote last December. The vote followed a contentious comment period in which ACE and other higher education groups identified the negative impact this could have on colleges and universities. 

A series of lawsuits were filed several months ago seeking to overturn the FCC’s ruling. They have been consolidated as Mozilla Corporation v. FCC and the United States of America and are now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 

The associations’ brief reiterates a long-held conviction that preserving an open internet is essential for research, education, the free flow of information, and other public interests served by universities and libraries. 

“As a stratified internet emerges, universities and libraries will be squeezed both as content providers and end-users,” they wrote. “Providers of internet access have incentives to charge additional fees to certain content providers in return for enhancing their delivery of certain traffic over other traffic or by blocking certain websites altogether. Eliminating the rules to prevent this behavior risks pushing universities and libraries into the “slow lane,” unable to compete with deep-pocketed commercial content providers, like Amazon and Netflix, for a limited amount of bandwidth.” 

The groups say that as creators of noncommercial content, colleges and universities and libraries will be less able to rely on the market-based approach and transparency rules that the FCC believes will prevent blocking and throttling. As recipients of digital content, institutions’ extensive research and databases subscriptions will become more expensive. And the increasing number of students who take all, or some, of their classes online will likely pay a price as well. 

Arguments have not yet been scheduled in the case. 

Other ACE News

  • September 19, 2018

    Today's Headlines

    HEADLINES: Today's Top Higher Education News

    Starting next fall, the University of Pennsylvania will offer what it says is the first online bachelor’s degree at an Ivy League college . . . Inside Higher Ed writes about the Alamo Colleges District in Texas, which has seen successes with its...

  • ACE Annual Meeting

    September 19, 2018

    ACE2019 Image

    Register Now for ACE2019

    Registration is open for ACE2019, ACE’s 101st Annual Meeting, March 9-12, 2019, in Philadelphia, PA.Nearly 2,000 college and university leaders from deans to presidents will gather at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown for the nation’s most...

  • Student Mobility

    September 18, 2018

    Fees for Student and Exchange Visitor Program Set to Increase

    The proposal to increase programs fees for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program may have a negative impact on international students, scholars, and higher education institutions, according to ACE and 14 other higher education associations.

  • Innovative Practices

    September 17, 2018

    Innovative Leadership

    College Presidents Finding New Ways to Lead Amid Growing Challenges

    A newly released ACE report highlights how innovative college and university presidents are rising to a variety of daily challenges and empowering their own campuses to take risks and respond strategically.

  • Budget and Appropriations

    September 17, 2018

    Stairs leading up

    Spending Package for FY 2019 Includes Boosts for Pell Grants, NIH, Career and Technical Education

    Congress has reached an agreement on an appropriations package for FY 2019 that includes a $100 increase in the maximum Pell Grant award and a $2 billion boost in funding for the National Institutes of Health, among other priorities for higher...

 

 Related Content