Internet Money Guys Start Asking The FCC Not To Implement Net Neutrality


Net neutrality has already made a lot of enemies, and the new rule hasn’t even been implemented yet. Along with big ISP lawsuits and hostility in the House, the FCC’s Open Internet Rule is now facing pushback from some of the big money entrepreneurs who make the internet their business.

An “ad hoc group of Internet gray beards,” as tech reporter Katy Bachman aptly styles them, have filed a petition to the FCC requesting that the agency put a stay on their own order.

If that sounds unlikely to happen, that’s only because it is. The petition therefore also includes a threat: if the FCC doesn’t hold its own order by May 11, then the “Tech Innovators” group will file a suit asking the court to issue a stay.

Daniel Berninger, founder of VCXC, filed the petition (PDF). VCXC is a tech group pushing to hasten the IP transition — that is, the move away from copper wire telecom service and onto replacement phone-over-broadband services.

You may or may not have heard of Berninger or of most of the other executives among the group (Marc Cuban is probably the most recognizable name), but you’ve heard of many of their companies and products, like Vonage and Lotus Notes.

In short, these are entrepreneurs who have backed successful internet venture bets before, and they are now telling the FCC that it’s in everyone’s best interest if future would-be entrepreneurs aren’t guaranteed the same equal playing field they got their starts on.

The petition claims, much like the lawsuits, that the Open Internet order exceeds the FCC’s authority, is “arbitrary and capricious,” and will harm future innovation and investments in internet businesses.

Berninger and the others are pushing for a Congressional, non-Title II solution to the problems of net neutrality, and to that end are meeting with some members of Congress today. Realistically, the most likely outcome of the stay is one more lawsuit to be rolled together with all the others and eventually decided in one fell swoop years down the line.

[via Katy Bachman]