Comments of Google Inc. GN Docket No. 10-127
2Broadband is critical to our nation’s future, and there is an overwhelming consensus thatthe goals of the FCC’s
National Broadband Plan
– to promote deployment, adoption, usage,competition, and innovation – will provide a solid foundation to meet a broad range of challenges, including economic, social, and civic concerns.
At the same time, broadbandnetworks have a unique role as essential and scarce resources, deployed by relatively fewproviders, and utilizing valuable government-granted rights and advantages.
These factorstogether compel some limited oversight role for government.
The NOI asks whether the Commission’s “ancillary authority continues to provide anadequate legal foundation.”
Six months ago, Google would have answered that question in theaffirmative, and without reservation. Google has no interest in applying heavy-handedregulation to broadband networks; indeed, given the healthy symbiotic relationship that existstoday between providers of Internet applications and content, and providers of broadband access,Google and many others certainly benefit when broadband companies invest in their accessnetworks. But the
has re-opened fundamental questions about the FCC’s jurisdiction over broadband Internet services. Welcome or not, the
decision means that
As just one example, the economic impact of Google’s core search and advertising business,conservatively estimated at $54 billion throughout the U.S. for 2009, exemplifies the beneficial“spillover” effects, including investment incentives, of broadband networks.
See Google’s Economic Impact
, May 25, 2010,
see also Economic Impact, available at
In particular, facilities-based broadband providers have the unmatched technical ability to controlactivities at all layers of the broadband network, with the distinct power to carry, inspect, and manipulate“Other People’s Packets,” and to ration both online traffic and broadband capacity.
Comments of Google Inc., GN Dkt. 09-191, at 24-26 (filed Jan. 14, 2010).
If the FCC declines to move forward expeditiously, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission appears to bewell-positioned to provide the necessary government oversight and enforcement functions.
NOI ¶ 30.
Comcast Corp. v. FCC
, 600 F.3d 642 (D.C. Cir. 2010) (“