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AECT Plays Role in FCC Net Neutrality Decision

Monday, March 2, 2015   (0 Comments)
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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted Thursday, February 26, to approve strong net neutrality rules—and AECT played a role in that decision. Last summer, as FCC deliberations got underway, AECT added its members’ voices to the chorus calling for net neutrality by providing an AECT policy brief on the subject to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

The AECT policy brief argued that “blocking or limiting access to Internet content is anathema to education for the common good. Commodifying access by privileging wealthy corporations at the expense of rendering everyone else second class risks substantial educational harm to institutions and individuals and upends the democratic ideals of equity and equality regardless of socioeconomic status and other potentially discriminatory factors.” (The full text of the policy brief can be found on the AECT website, aect.org, under AECT Official Policy Briefs.)

 

Defying lobbying by telecom and cable companies as well as conservative lawmakers, the FCC approved rules that reclassify consumer broadband as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC plans to use these rules to ban “paid prioritization” that would allow Internet service providers to privilege some content produces for a higher fee. Said Chairman Wheeler prior to the vote, “The Internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules.”

 

Provisions within the AECT Strategic Plan call for AECT to strive to be “internationally recognized and valued by policy makers and stakeholders as experts in the improvement of teaching and learning.” AECT policy briefs are one initiative in support of this objective. Members are encouraged not only to review and use the existing policy briefs but also to contribute by writing policy briefs on key issues of importance to our profession. Accepted draft policy briefs are reviewed by the AECT membership prior to being officially adopted by the AECT Board of Directors. For more information, please visit the AECT website: aect.org.


 

Robert Branch, AECT President

Phillip Harris, AECT Executive Director




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