WASHINGTON, April 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A delegation of the "Tech Innovators" will meet with Members of Congress today to further efforts to declare April 30 "Internet Independence Day" and undo the regulatory overreach employed by the FCC in its Open Internet Order. The meetings with Members and staff follow an April 16, 2015 letter to Congress asking for a formal recognition of the 20th anniversary of the April 30, 1995 decision to privatize the Internet. By celebrating the birth of the commercial Internet and explaining to Congress how a private sector framework has yielded twenty years of unbridled success, the Innovators believe Members will feel increasingly motivated to pass new policy that overrides the FCC's rules and restores the independent nature of the Internet. The day will end at 6:00 pm with the "Internet Independence Day Kick off Reception" at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
"Our goals today are quite simple and can be summarized in three points," said Daniel Berninger, the founder of VCXC who convened the Tech Innovators, which includes VoIP creator Jeff Pulver, Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban and Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow, as a civic initiative among friends. "We want to exert pressure on Congress to officially name April 30 Internet Independence Day; further discussions regarding a bipartisan bill that would undo rules by the FCC that repurpose Depression-era industrial policy meant to address a monopoly in voice-transmission technology; and begin moving the discussion towards forward-thinking policy built to facilitate the growth and capacity America needs to replicate the past twenty years of success."
While this is not a typical "fly-in," members of the Innovators felt it was a logical and necessary next step. As Berninger made clear in a Wednesday op-ed, "the arrogance and utter incongruity of declaring Internet and telephone networks equivalent has led a group of friends, all of them reluctant activists, to convene an effort to restore Internet independence." So far, the group includes John Perry Barlow, Mark Cuban, Tim Draper, Tom Evslin, Dave Farber, Charlie Giancarlo, George Gilder, John Gilmore, Brian Martin, Bob Metcalfe, Ray Ozzie, Jeff Pulver, Michael Robertson, Scott McNealy and Les Vadasz.
"Policymakers should do everything to protect the open Internet – no one argues that – but we are doing the American public a disservice if we insist that the FCC's approach is the best one," said Jeff Pulver. "It not only disregards the past twenty years of success of a private Internet treated as an information service, it ignores the lessons learned a decade ago in the process that led to the 'Pulver Order' in 2004. In that case, the FCC declared voice services like Free World Dialup were not 'telecommunication services' after ten years of deliberating and hindering investment, a decision that unleashed a swirl of entrepreneurial activity that would bring consumers innovative, new services that they enjoy today. By highlighting successes like this, I hope that we can advance sensible policy that drives a new wave of innovation and investment that will support the next generation of entrepreneurs."
Daniel Berninger, founder, The Voice Communications Exchange Committee (VCXC) convened the Tech Innovators as a civic initiative among friends. The Tech Innovators are a group of friends who helped build the Internet and are working to assemble a pro-network agenda for the gigabit age.
SOURCE The Voice Communications Exchange Committee (VCXC)