Repealing Net Neutrality Rules Ignores That the Internet Now Is the Basic and Essential Communications Service, Expert Says.

Article ID: 686784

Released: 13-Dec-2017 1:05 PM EST

Source Newsroom: Northwestern University

Expert Pitch
  • Credit: Northwestern University

    James Speta

  • Credit: Northwestern University

    Matthew Spitzer

Newswise — CHICAGO - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to vote on Thursday to repeal its net neutrality rules for Internet providers. Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law professors James Speta and Matthew Spitzer are available to comment.

James Speta is a professor of law at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. His research interests include telecommunications and Internet policy, antitrust, administrative law and market organization. He can be reached at 312-503-8470 or

Quote from Professor Speta

“The FCC’s 2015 rules were not radical utility regulation of the Internet, but an attempt by the FCC to do the best with the ancient statute that it had. The rules were not perfect, but repealing them ignores that the Internet now is the basic and essential communications service. Congress has the responsibility to update this law and, in the meantime, the FCC has the responsibility not to abdicate its role.”

Matthew Spitzer is the Howard and Elizabeth Chapman Professor of Law and the

director of the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. His publications are in administrative law, telecommunications regulation, judicial politics, and law and economics. He can be reached at 312-503-8434 or

Quote from Professor Spitzer

“The repeal of the prohibitions against blocking or throttling content may be a good idea in two or three years -- when 5G wireless comes on line. But not yet. For now, it would be better to leave the current rules in place and work on improving high-speed wireless access to the Internet.” 

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