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Why FTC Speech on NN is so significant

One of the most significant recent NN developments was the very detailed and cogent analysis and speech of the Federal Trade Commission Chairman Majoras last week. Why was it so significant?

First, it was the most comprehensive and forthcoming analyses of net neutrality by any of the three Federal enforcement authorities who's statutory job is to protect competition (FCC, DOJ and FTC).  It is a very good proxy for where the FCC and DOJ are.

Second, by any measure, the detailed 21 page footnoted speech proves the FTC is highly informed on the issue and fully engaged. Further evidence of the FTC being on top of the issue is that they have initiated a formal Internet Access Task Force and have scheduled public hearings in early November to stay on top of "Consumer Protection in the Next Tech-ade." 

Third, the FTC Chairman could not have been more clear in her skepticism about the need for new net neturality legislation"we already have in place and an existing law enforcement and regulatory structure. Before adding to it, we should determine that the current scheme is insufficient to address potential issues as they arise in this area." ... "The worst mistake we can make is to assume we know it all."

Fourth, the FTC Chairman rattled her enforcement sabre: "let me make clear that if broadband providers engage in anti-competitive conduct, we will not hesitate  to act using our existing authority." 

Finally, and most tellingly, The FTC Chairman needled those pushing for new net neutrality legislation that: "thus far, proponents of net neutrality legislation have not come to us to explain where the market is failing or what anti-competitive conduct we should challenge; we are open to hearing from them."