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1 ​ ​ e Before th ​ Communications ​ ​ Commission ​ Federal ​ ) ) Matter No. ​ of ​ In ​ ​ ​ the ​ ) Docket ​ 17-108 ​ ​ ​ WC ​ ​ ) ​ Internet ​ Restoring ​ Freedom ) ​ ) ) ​ ​ Comments ​ ​ of ​ ​ Engine Reply ​ ​ 30, ​ August 2017 ​ Evan ​ ​ Engstrom Executive ​ ​ Director NGINE E ​ ​ 44 ​ ​ St. Tehama San ​ ​ Francisco, ​ ​ CA ​ ​ 94105

2 Table ​ ​ of ​ ​ Contents Executive ​ ​​ Introduction ​ ​ and ​ ​ ​ ​ Summary ​ ... ...1 I. ​ ​ ​ ​​ Upfront ​ ​ Prophylactic ​ ​ Rules ​ ​ Are ​ ​ Necessary ​ ​ to ​ ​ Support ​ ​ a ​ II. Functioning ​ ​ Internet ​ Ecosystem ...2 ​ Nonexistent ​ Market ​ ​ Competition ​ ​ Will ​ ​ Not ​ ​ a. ​ ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ from ​ ​ Engaging ​ ​ in Deter Discriminatory ​ ​ Behavior...3 b. ISPs ​ ​ Have ​ ​ Not ​ ​ and ​ ​ Will ​ ​ Not ​ ​ Voluntarily ​ ​ Abide ​ ​ by ​ ​ Net ​ ​ Neutrality ​ ​ Principles...5 III. ​ A ​ ​ Ban ​ ​ on ​ ​ Paid ​ ​ Prioritization ​ ​ ​ Will ​ ​ Protect, ​ ​ Not ​ ​ Stifle ​ ​ Competition ​ ...7 IV. ​ ​ ​​ FTC ​ ​ Jurisdiction ​ ​ is ​ ​ Insufficient ​ ​ to ​ ​ Protect ​ ​ the ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ...9 Promoting V. ​ ​​ Bright ​ ​ Line ​ ​ Net ​ ​ Neutrality ​ ​ Rules ​ ​ Are ​ ​ Critical ​ ​ For ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Investment ​ In ​ Edge ​ Providers ​ ...13 ​ VI. ​ ​ ​​ Conclusion ​ ... ...15

3 1. ​ ​ and ​ ​ Executive ​ ​ Summary Introduction ​ is ​ ​ a ​ ​ non-profit ​ ​ technology ​ ​ policy, ​ ​ research, ​ ​ and ​ ​ advocacy ​ ​ organization ​ ​ that Engine ​ and the ​ ​ gap ​ ​ between ​ ​ policymakers ​ ​ and ​ ​ startups. ​ ​ Engine ​ ​ works ​ ​ with ​ ​ government ​ ​ ​ bridges ​ ​ community ​ ​ of ​ ​ thousands ​ ​ of ​ ​ high-technology, ​ ​ growth-oriented ​ ​ startups ​ ​ across ​ ​ the a ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ support ​ ​ the ​ ​ development ​ ​ of ​ ​ technology ​ ​ entrepreneurship. ​ ​ Engine ​ ​ creates ​ ​ an nation to ​ ​ where ​ ​ technological ​ ​ innovation environment ​ and ​ ​ entrepreneurship ​ ​ thrive ​ ​ by ​ ​ providing ​ knowledge ​ about ​ ​ the ​ ​ startup ​ ​ economy ​ ​ and ​ ​ helping ​ ​ to ​ ​ construct ​ ​ smarter ​ ​ public ​ ​ policy. ​ ​ To ​ ​ ​ ​ end, ​ ​ Engine ​ ​ conducts ​ ​ research, ​ ​ organizes ​ ​ events, ​ ​ and that ​ spearheads ​ ​ campaigns ​ ​ to ​ ​ elected ​ ​ officials, ​ ​ the educate ​ entrepreneur ​ ​ community, ​ ​ and ​ ​ the ​ ​ general ​ ​ public ​ ​ on ​ ​ issues ​ vital ​ to ​ ​ fostering ​ ​ ​ technological ​ ​ innovation. The ​ ​ U.S. ​ ​ startup ​ ​ ecosystem ​ ​ relies ​ ​ on ​ ​ bright-line ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ protections, ​ ​ like ​ ​ those ​ ​ enshrined ​ ​ in the ​ ​ 2015 ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order. ​ ​ Without ​ ​ those ​ ​ upfront ​ ​ protections, ​ ​ proactively ​ ​ enforced ​ ​ by ​ ​ the ​ ​ startups’ ​ ​ access ​ ​ to ​ ​ their ​ ​ users—and ​ ​ therefore ​ ​ FCC, ​ ​ value ​ ​ to ​ ​ consumers, ​ ​ investors, ​ ​ and ​ ​ the their economy—would ​ depend ​ ​ on ​ ​ the ​ ​ whims ​ ​ of ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Service ​ ​ Providers ​ ​ (“ISPs”). ​ ​ The ​ ​ new ​ ​ and ​ small ​ ​ businesses ​ ​ that ​ ​ make ​ ​ up ​ ​ the ​ ​ startup ​ ​ ecosystem ​ ​ don’t ​ ​ have ​ ​ the ​ ​ resources ​ ​ to ​ ​ pay ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ for better ​ access ​ ​ to ​ ​ users ​ ​ or ​ ​ engage ​ ​ in ​ ​ a ​ ​ protracted ​ ​ review ​ ​ process ​ ​ to ​ ​ challenge ​ ​ anticompetitive ​ ​ ISP ​ practices. ​ ​ And ​ ​ without ​ ​ fair ​ ​ access ​ ​ to ​ ​ consumers, ​ ​ startups ​ ​ won’t ​ ​ be ​ ​ able ​ ​ to ​ ​ get ​ ​ investment, ​ ​ grow, economy and ​ be ​ ​ the ​ ​ job ​ ​ creation ​ ​ and ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ boosting ​ ​ companies ​ ​ they ​ ​ are ​ ​ today. 1

4 As ​ ​ expected, ​ ​ the ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ commenters ​ ​ in ​ ​ this ​ ​ docket ​ ​ support ​ ​ the ​ ​ present ​ ​ NPRM’s ​ ​ proposal ​ ​ to ​ ​ unwind ​ existing ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ protections ​ ​ and ​ ​ effectively ​ ​ allow ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ to ​ ​ fully ​ ​ monetize ​ ​ their the ​ ​ ​ over ​ ​ end ​ ​ users ​ ​ to ​ ​ the ​ ​ detriment ​ power ​ of ​ ​ startup ​ ​ competition. ​ ​ To ​ ​ support ​ ​ their ​ ​ gatekeeper ​ these ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ commenters ​ ​ present ​ ​ patently ​ ​ false ​ arguments, arguments ​ ​ about ​ ​ the ​ ​ nature ​ ​ of ​ ​ U.S. ​ ​ ​ ​ competition, ​ ​ the ​ ​ need ​ ​ for ​ ​ a ​ ​ rule ​ ​ ​ ​ paid ​ ​ prioritization, ​ ​ the ​ ​ viability ​ ​ of ​ ​ FTC broadband banning ​ ​ of ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ principles, ​ ​ and ​ ​ the ​ ​ 2015 ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order’s ​ ​ impact ​ ​ on enforcement ​ ​ ​ Contrary ​ ​ to ​ investment. these ​ ​ self-serving ​ ​ claims, ​ ​ it ​ ​ is ​ ​ well-established ​ ​ that ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ have ​ ​ the ​ ​ and ​ ​ interest ​ ​ in ​ ​ distorting ​ ​ competition ​ ​ through ​ ​ discrimination ​ ​ against ​ ​ specific ​ ​ sources ​ ​ of capacity ​ ​ in ​ ​ a ​ ​ manner ​ ​ that ​ ​ will ​ ​ severely ​ ​ curtail ​ ​ edge ​ ​ provider ​ ​ investment. ​ ​ In ​ ​ the ​ ​ absence ​ ​ of ​ ​ the traffic rapid ​ ​​ ex ​ strong, ante ​ ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ rules ​ ​ that ​ ​ have ​ ​ been ​ ​ in ​ ​ place ​ ​ during ​ ​ the ​ ​ Internet’s ​ ​ recent ​ ​ ​ expansion, ​ the ​ ​ startups ​ ​ that ​ ​ have ​ ​ historically ​ ​ driven ​ ​ the ​ ​ growth ​ ​ of ​ ​ the ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ and ​ ​ the ​ ​ nation’s ​ job ​ ​ market ​ ​ will ​ ​ be ​ ​ put ​ ​ at ​ ​ an ​ ​ insurmountable ​ ​ disadvantage ​ ​ to ​ ​ wealthy ​ ​ incumbents. ​ ​ FCC ​ ​ should keep ​ ​ in ​ ​ place ​ ​ the ​ ​ current ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ protections ​ ​ under ​ ​ the ​ ​ 2015 ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order, ​ ​ ​ the ​ ​ level ​ ​ playing ​ ​ field ​ ​ that ​ ​ has ​ ​ let ​ ​ the ​ ​ startup ​ ​ ecosystem ​ ​ in ​ ​ this ​ ​ country ​ protecting thrive. 2. ​ ​ Prophylactic ​ ​ Rules ​ ​ Are ​ ​ Necessary ​ ​ to ​ ​ Support ​ ​ a ​ ​ Functioning ​ ​ Internet Upfront Ecosystem ​ ​ the ​ ​ NPRM, ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ commenters ​ ​ question ​ ​ the ​ ​ need ​ Like for ​ ​ any ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ rules ​ ​ at ​ ​ all, ​ ​ arguing ​ that ​ ​ “[m]arket ​ ​ forces ​ ​ and ​ ​ BIAS ​ ​ providers’ ​ ​ deeply ​ ​ engrained ​ ​ commitment ​ ​ to ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ freedom 1 ​ ensure ​ ​ continued ​ ​ adherence ​ ​ to ​ ​ consensus ​ ​ principles ​ ​ of ​ ​ openness.” ​ ​ Quite ​ ​ the ​ ​ opposite, ​ ​ the will ​ U.S. ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ market ​ ​ lacks ​ ​ the ​ ​ competition, ​ ​ transparency, ​ ​ and ​ ​ low ​ ​ switching ​ ​ costs ​ ​ that ​ ​ could 1 ​ ​ Comments ​ ​ of ​ ​ NCTA ​ ​ - ​ ​ The ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ & ​ ​ Television ​ ​ Association ​ ​ WC ​ ​ Docket ​ ​ No. ​ ​ 17-108 ​ ​ at ​ ​ p. ​ ​ 51 ​ ​ (Filed July ​ 10, ​ ​ 2017) ​ ​ ​ (“NCTA ​ ​ Comments”). 2

5 even ​ ​ theoretically ​ ​ dissuade ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ from ​ ​ engaging ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ types ​ ​ of ​ ​ discriminatory ​ ​ policies ​ ​ that ​ ​ they ​ every ​ ​ incentive ​ ​ to ​ ​ deploy. ​ ​ U.S. ​ ​ providers ​ ​ have ​ ​ a ​ ​ history ​ ​ of ​ ​ abusing ​ ​ their ​ ​ gatekeeper ​ ​ power have ​ ​ a ​ ​ manner ​ ​ that ​ ​ provides ​ ​ them ​ ​ with ​ ​ financial ​ ​ benefits ​ ​ to ​ ​ the ​ ​ detriment ​ ​ of ​ ​ consumers, in ​ ​ and ​ ​ ​ innovation. ​ ​ As ​ ​ a ​ ​ result, ​ ​ as ​ ​ the ​ ​ FCC ​ ​ correctly ​ ​ surmised ​ ​ in ​ ​ both ​ ​ 2010 ​ ​ and ​ ​ 2015, competition, ​ ​​ ex ​ ​ ante ​ ​ ​ rules ​ ​ are ​ ​ necessary ​ ​ to ​ ​ prevent ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ from ​ ​ distorting ​ ​ open ​ ​ competition ​ ​ on ​ ​ the bright-line ​ ​ ​ Contrary ​ ​ to ​ ​ ISPs’ Internet. ​ obviously ​ ​ flawed ​ ​ arguments ​ ​ about ​ ​ “market ​ ​ forces” ​ ​ keeping ​ ​ their ​ ​ impulses ​ ​ in ​ ​ check, ​ ​ strong ​ ​ upfront ​ ​ rules ​ ​ are ​ ​ the ​ ​ only ​ ​ way ​ ​ to ​ ​ preserve ​ ​ an ​ ​ open ​ ​ Internet. worst Nonexistent ​ ​ Market ​ ​ Competition ​ ​ Will ​ ​ Not ​ ​ Deter ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ from ​ ​ Engaging ​ ​ in a. ​ ​ Behavior Discriminatory ​ ​ ​ commenters ​ ​ repeatedly ​ ​ make ​ ​ the ​ ​ false ​ ​ claim ​ ​ that ​ ​ the ​ ​ U.S. ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ market ​ ​ is ISP ​ full ​ of ​ different ​ providers ​ ​ competing ​ ​ for ​ ​ the ​ ​ same ​ ​ customers, ​ ​ rendering ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ rules ​ ​ unnecessary. ​ Under ​ ​ this ​ ​ view, ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ would ​ ​ never ​ ​ think ​ ​ of ​ ​ charging ​ ​ edge ​ ​ providers ​ ​ for ​ ​ access ​ ​ to ​ ​ end ​ ​ users ​ ​ and blocking ​ ​ those ​ ​ that ​ ​ do ​ ​ not ​ ​ or ​ ​ cannot ​ ​ pay, ​ ​ because ​ ​ angry ​ ​ consumers ​ ​ would ​ ​ simply ​ ​ choose ​ ​ another ​ ​ In ​ ​ reality, ​ ​ of ​ ​ course, ​ ​ there ​ ​ is ​ ​ no ​ ​ meaningful ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ competition ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ U.S. ​ ​ Contrary ​ ​ to ISP. ​ ​ claims, ​ ​ the ​ ​ majority ​ ​ of ​ ​ U.S. ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ users ​ ​ have ​ ​ no ​ ​ choice ​ ​ of ​ ​ provider ​ ​ for ​ ​ broadband ISP ​ ​ access service. ​ ​ According ​ ​ to ​ ​ the ​ ​ FCC’s ​ ​ 2016 ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Access ​ ​ Services ​ ​ report, ​ ​ 76 ​ ​ percent ​ ​ of ​ ​ U.S. 2 ​ tracts census ​ have ​ ​ access ​ ​ to ​ ​ zero ​ ​ or ​ ​ one ​ ​ provider ​ ​ of ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ service. ​ ​ And, ​ ​ since ​ ​ an ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ that ​ ​ provides ​ ​ service ​ ​ in ​ ​ a ​ ​ particular ​ ​ census ​ ​ tract ​ ​ will ​ ​ not ​ ​ necessarily ​ ​ serve ​ ​ every ​ ​ household ​ ​ in ​ ​ that 3 area, ​ this ​ ​ figure ​ ​ likely ​ ​ overstates ​ ​ the ​ ​ amount ​ ​ of ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ competition ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ U.S. ​ 2 ​ ​ FCC, ​ ​ “Internet ​ ​ Access ​ ​ Services: ​ ​ Status ​ ​ as ​ ​ of ​ ​ December ​ ​ 31, ​ 2015,” ​ ​ (Nov. ​ ​ 2016), ​ ​ at ​ ​ p. ​ ​ 6, ​ ​ available ​ ​ at ​ https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-342358A1.pdf. 3 ​ ​ FCC, ​ ​ “2016 ​ ​ Broadband ​ ​ Progress ​ ​ Report,” ​ ​ (Jan. ​ ​ 29, ​ ​ 2016), ​ ​ at ​ ​ FN ​ ​ 234, ​ ​ available ​ ​ at may https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-16-6A1.pdf ​ (“Our ​ ​ analysis ​ ​ ​ ​ overstate ​ ​ the ​ deployment ​ ​ of ​ ​ services ​ ​ throughout ​ ​ an ​ ​ area. ​ ​ Providers ​ ​ of ​ ​ fixed ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ services ​ ​ identify, ​ ​ by ​ ​ census somewhere block, ​ whether ​ ​ they ​ ​ provide ​ ​ services ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ within ​ ​ the ​ ​ census ​ ​ block.”). 3

6 In ​ light ​ ​ of ​ ​ this ​ ​ lack ​ ​ of ​ ​ competition, ​ ​ claims ​ ​ from ​ ​ industry ​ ​ groups ​ ​ like ​ ​ NCTA ​ ​ that ​ ​ “it ​ ​ is ​ ​ far ​ ​ more ​ ​ for ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ to ​ ​ expand ​ ​ capacity ​ ​ (and ​ ​ thereby ​ ​ retain ​ ​ satisfied ​ ​ customers) ​ ​ than ​ ​ to ​ ​ engage ​ ​ in rational ​ ​ ​ (and ​ ​ thereby ​ ​ drive ​ ​ customers ​ ​ away)” ​ ​ ring ​ conduct ​ hollow. ​ ​ If ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ engage ​ ​ in ​ ​ harmful ​ ​ harmful ​ the ​ ​ vast ​ ​ majority ​ ​ of ​ ​ Americans ​ ​ will ​ ​ have ​ ​ to ​ ​ decide conduct, ​ between ​ ​ having ​ ​ limited ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ ​ ​ or ​ ​ no ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ service ​ ​ at ​ ​ all. ​ ​ There ​ ​ is ​ ​ ​ ​ no ​ ​ way ​ ​ for ​ ​ customers ​ ​ to ​ ​ pressure ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ that service simply ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ rules ​ ​ by ​ ​ threatening ​ ​ to ​ ​ switch ​ ​ to ​ ​ competitors ​ violate that ​ ​ do ​ ​ follow ​ ​ open ​ ​ Internet ​ principles. ​ In ​ ​ short, ​ ​ there ​ ​ is ​ ​ no ​ ​ competitive ​ ​ pressure ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ market ​ ​ in ​ ​ most ​ ​ places ​ ​ in ​ ​ ​ U.S. ​ ​ and ​ ​ certainly ​ ​ not ​ ​ the ​ ​ type ​ ​ of ​ ​ competitive ​ ​ pressures ​ ​ that ​ ​ would ​ ​ force ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ to ​ ​ adopt ​ ​ open the ​ ​ policies. Internet of ​ if ​ ​ every ​ ​ household ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ Even ​ ​ had ​ ​ multiple ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ access ​ ​ provider ​ ​ options, ​ ​ the ​ ​ lack ​ ​ ​ U.S. transparency ​ and ​ ​ high ​ ​ cost ​ ​ of ​ ​ switching ​ ​ services ​ ​ would ​ ​ make ​ ​ it ​ ​ unlikely ​ ​ that ​ ​ market ​ ​ forces ​ ​ alone ​ would ​ ​ deter ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ from ​ ​ abusing ​ ​ their ​ ​ gatekeeper ​ ​ power ​ ​ to ​ ​ harm ​ ​ edge ​ ​ provider ​ ​ competition ​ ​ on ​ ​ the Internet. ​ ​ In ​ ​ the ​ ​ few ​ ​ places ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ U.S. ​ ​ where ​ ​ there ​ ​ are ​ ​ multiple ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ providing ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ the ​ ​ cost ​ ​ of ​ ​ switching ​ ​ providers ​ ​ can ​ service, ​ be ​ ​ high ​ ​ enough ​ ​ to ​ ​ deter ​ ​ customers ​ ​ from ​ ​ changing ISPs, ​ even ​ ​ if ​ ​ they ​ ​ are ​ ​ dissatisfied ​ ​ with ​ ​ their ​ ​ service. ​ ​ And, ​ ​ because ​ ​ every ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ subscriber ​ will ​ ​ likely ​ ​ only ​ ​ subscribe ​ ​ to ​ ​ one ​ ​ provider ​ ​ at ​ ​ a ​ ​ given ​ ​ time, ​ ​ even ​ ​ with ​ ​ competitive ​ ​ options, ​ ​ a ​ ​ given subscriber’s ​ chosen ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ has ​ ​ an ​ ​ effective ​ ​ monopoly ​ ​ on ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ access ​ ​ for ​ ​ that ​ ​ user. ​ ​ Any ​ ​ edge ​ provider ​ ​ that ​ ​ wishes ​ ​ to ​ ​ communicate ​ ​ or ​ ​ do ​ ​ business ​ ​ with ​ ​ a ​ ​ particular ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ user ​ ​ has ​ ​ only ​ ​ one ​ pathway ​ to ​ ​ that ​ ​ user: ​ ​ the ​ ​ user’s ​ ​ ISP. 4

7 b. ISPs ​ Have ​ ​ Not ​ ​ and ​ ​ Will ​ ​ Not ​ ​ Voluntarily ​ ​ Abide ​ ​ by ​ ​ Net ​ ​ Neutrality ​ ​ Principles ​ net ​ ​ argue ​ ​ in ​ ​ their ​ ​ opening ​ ​ comments ​ ​ that ​ ​ also ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ rules ​ ​ are ​ ​ unnecessary ​ ​ because ​ ​ they ​ IPS ​ ​ a ​ ​ “deeply ​ ​ engrained ​ ​ commitment ​ ​ to ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ freedom” ​ ​ and ​ ​ will ​ ​ follow ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality have ​ 4 previous whether ​ ​ ​ or ​ ​ not ​ ​ they ​ ​ are ​ ​ legally ​ ​ required ​ ​ to ​ ​ do ​ ​ so. ​ ​ These ​ ​ claims ​ ​ ignore ​ ​ ISPs’ ​ ​ ​ principles ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ violations ​ ​ despite ​ ​ the ​ ​ existence ​ ​ of ​ ​ ​ ​ rules ​ ​ and ​ ​ ISPs’ ​ ​ repeated ​ ​ claims ​ ​ that net bright-line ​ ​ wish ​ ​ to ​ ​ engage ​ ​ in ​ ​ practices ​ ​ that ​ ​ violate ​ ​ current ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ rules. ​ ​ The ​ ​ fact ​ ​ remains ​ ​ that ​ ​ in they ​ the absence ​ ​ of ​ ​ strong ​ ​​ ex ​ ​ ante ​ ​ ​ rules ​ ​ preventing ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ from ​ ​ discriminating ​ ​ against ​ ​ certain ​ ​ sources ​ ​ of ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ will ​ ​ almost ​ ​ certainly ​ ​ abuse ​ ​ their ​ ​ gatekeeper ​ ​ power ​ ​ to ​ ​ disrupt ​ ​ the ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ ecosystem. ​ traffic, ​ ​ many ​ ​ commenters ​ ​ have ​ ​ documented, ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ claims ​ ​ of ​ ​ voluntary ​ ​ adherence ​ ​ to ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality As ​ ​ ​ are ​ ​ belied ​ ​ by ​ ​ the ​ ​ record. ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ have ​ ​ a ​ ​ long ​ ​ history ​ ​ of ​ ​ blocking ​ ​ competing ​ services ​ ​ and principles ​ ​ using ​ ​ their ​ ​ terminating ​ ​ access ​ ​ monopoly ​ ​ power ​ ​ to ​ ​ disadvantage ​ ​ particular ​ ​ companies otherwise 5 ​ ​ technologies. ​ ​ Even ​ ​ after ​ ​ the ​ ​ 2015 ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order ​ ​ established ​ ​ a ​ ​ case-by-case or 6 adjudication ​ standard ​ ​ for ​ ​ so-called ​ ​ “zero-rating” ​ ​ programs ​ ​ that ​ ​ would ​ ​ look ​ ​ at, ​ ​ among ​ ​ other ​ ​ ​ whether ​ ​ the ​ ​ policy ​ ​ at ​ ​ issue ​ ​ would ​ ​ “distort ​ ​ competition ​ ​ and ​ ​ unreasonably ​ ​ disadvantage things, 7 ​ edge ​ ​ providers,” ​ ​ or ​ ​ “disadvantage ​ ​ the ​ ​ operation ​ ​ of ​ ​ third-party ​ ​ Internet-based ​ ​ services certain ​ 8 ​ compete ​ ​ with ​ ​ the ​ ​ providers’ ​ ​ own ​ ​ services,” ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ launched ​ ​ zero-rating ​ ​ programs ​ ​ that that ​ exempted ​ their ​ ​ own ​ ​ vertically-integrated ​ ​ content ​ ​ offerings ​ ​ while ​ ​ subjecting ​ ​ competitors ​ ​ to ​ ​ user ​ 4 ​ NCTA ​ ​ comments ​ ​ at ​ ​ 51. ​ 5 ​ ​​ See, ​ ​ e.g. ​ , ​ ​ Timothy ​ ​ Karr, ​ ​ “Net ​ ​ Neutrality ​ ​ Violations: ​ ​ ​ A ​ ​ Brief ​ History,” ​ ​​ Free ​ ​ Press ​ ​ Blog ​ ​ ​ (Apr. ​ ​ 25, ​ ​ 2017), available ​ at ​ ​ ​ https://www.freepress.net/blog/2017/04/25/net-neutrality-violations-brief-history. 6 ​ ​ Report ​ ​ and ​ ​ Order ​ ​ on ​ ​ Remand, ​ ​ Declaratory ​ ​ Ruling ​ ​ and ​ ​ Order, ​ ​ “Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order,” ​ ​ FCC ​ ​ 15-24 ​ ​ (2015) at ​ ¶ ​ ​ 152 ​ ​ (“2015 ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order”). ​ 7 ​ ​​ Id. ​ ​ ​ at ​ ​ ¶ ​ ​ 144 8 ​ ​​ Id. ​ ​ ​ at ​ ​ ¶ ​ ​ 140 5

8 9 data caps. ​ ​ Although ​ ​ such ​ ​ zero-rating ​ ​ programs ​ ​ clearly ​ ​ distort ​ ​ competition ​ ​ and ​ ​ disadvantage ​ ​ ​ ​ these ​ ​ carriers ​ ​ nevertheless ​ ​ used ​ ​ their ​ ​ control ​ services, ​ over ​ ​ the ​ ​ network ​ ​ to ​ ​ give ​ ​ a ​ third-party ​ ​ advantage ​ ​ to ​ ​ their ​ ​ own ​ ​ services. ​ ​ Somehow, ​ ​ neither ​ ​ existing ​ ​ law ​ ​ nor ​ ​ ISPs’ ​ ​ “deeply competitive ​ to commitment ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ freedom” ​ ​ were ​ ​ sufficient ​ ​ to ​ ​ ensure ​ ​ that ​ ​ they ​ ​ followed ​ ​ net engrained ​ ​ principles. ​ ​ There ​ ​ ​ is ​ ​ little ​ ​ reason ​ ​ to ​ ​ believe ​ ​ they ​ ​ will ​ ​ be ​ ​ more ​ ​ inclined ​ ​ to ​ ​ abide ​ ​ by ​ ​ net neutrality ​ ​ principles ​ ​ if ​ ​ the ​ ​ current ​ ​ strong ​ ​ rules ​ ​ are ​ ​ eliminated ​ ​ as ​ ​ the ​ ​ NPRM ​ ​ proposes. neutrality Indeed, ​ self-serving ​ ​ comments ​ ​ in ​ ​ this ​ ​ docket ​ ​ aside, ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ have ​ ​ been ​ ​ surprisingly ​ ​ candid ​ ​ about ​ ​ interest ​ ​ in ​ ​ using ​ ​ their ​ ​ gatekeeper ​ ​ power ​ ​ to ​ ​ distort ​ ​ competition ​ ​ in ​ ​ their ​ ​ favor. ​ ​ While their ​ ​ ​ opening ​ ​ comments ​ ​ in ​ ​ this ​ ​ proceeding ​ ​ claim ​ ​ that ​ ​ they ​ ​ “support ​ ​ rules ​ ​ that ​ ​ prevent Verizon’s 10 ​ from ​ ​ blocking ​ ​ lawful ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ content, ​ ​ applications ​ ​ or ​ ​ services ​ ​ from ​ ​ consumers,” ​ providers ​ ​ counsel ​ ​ previously ​ ​ stated ​ ​ in ​ ​ court ​ ​ that ​ ​ Verizon ​ ​ wants ​ ​ the ​ ​ power ​ ​ to ​ ​ charge ​ ​ edge Verizon’s 11 ​ ​ for ​ ​ access ​ ​ to ​ ​ end ​ ​ users ​ ​ and ​ ​ to ​ ​ block ​ ​ those ​ ​ that ​ ​ do ​ ​ not ​ ​ pay. ​ ​ As ​ ​ the ​ ​ FCC ​ ​ has ​ ​ previously providers determined ​ ​ on ​ ​ multiple ​ ​ occasions, ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ have ​ ​ the ​ ​ incentive ​ ​ and ​ ​ capability ​ ​ to ​ ​ undermine ​ ​ the ​ ​ open ​ today. ​ ISPs’ ​ ​ own ​ ​ comments ​ ​ and ​ ​ behavior ​ ​ demonstrate ​ ​ that ​ ​ this ​ ​ remains ​ ​ true ​ ​ Internet; 9 ​​ See, ​ ​ e.g. ​ ​ ​ Aaron ​ ​ Pressman, ​ ​ “FCC ​ ​ Again ​ ​ Blasts ​ ​ Verizon ​ ​ and ​ ​ AT&T ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Net ​ ​ Neutrality,” ​ ​​ Fortune ​ , Over January ​ 11, ​ ​ 2017, ​ ​​ http://fortune.com/2017/01/11/ ​ fcc-verizon-att-net-neutrality-2 ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ (“AT&T ​ ​ and ​ ​ Verizon / are ​ ​ hurting ​ ​ competition ​ ​ and ​ ​ mostlikely ​ ​ violating ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ rules ​ ​ by ​ ​ giving ​ ​ special ​ ​ treatment ​ ​ to top streaming ​ video ​ ​ services ​ ​ they ​ ​ own, ​ ​ ​ ​ federal ​ ​ telecommunications ​ ​ regulators ​ ​ warned.”) ​ 10 ​ ​ Comments ​ ​ of ​ ​ Verizon, ​ ​ WC ​ ​ Docket ​ ​ No. ​ ​ 17-108 ​ ​ at ​ ​ p. ​ ​ 19 ​ ​ (Filed ​ ​ July ​ ​ 10, ​ ​ 2017) ​ ​ (“Verizon ​ ​ Comments”) 11 ​ Oral ​ ​ Argument, ​ ​​ Verizon ​ ​ v. ​ ​ FCC ​ , ​ ​ ​ at ​ ​ 1:54:48. ​ ​ Available ​ ​ at: ​ ​ https://www.c-span.org/video/?314904- 1/verizon-v-federal-communications-commission-oral-argument. 6

9 3. A ​ Ban ​ ​ on ​ ​ Paid ​ ​ Prioritization ​ ​ Will ​ ​ Protect, ​ ​ Not ​ ​ Stifle ​ ​ Competition. ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ commenters ​ ​ (disingenuously) ​ ​ exclaim ​ ​ support ​ ​ for ​ ​ bans ​ ​ on ​ ​ throttling ​ ​ and ​ ​ blocking, Though ​ ​ ​ oppose ​ ​ restrictions ​ ​ on ​ ​ paid ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ like ​ ​ the ​ uniformly ​ bright ​ ​ line ​ ​ ban ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ 2015 ​ ​ Open ​ ​ they ​ Order. ​ ​ Comcast’s ​ ​ comments ​ ​ argue ​ ​ against ​ ​ a ​ ​ ban ​ ​ on ​ ​ paid ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ by ​ arrangements ​ ​ that ​ ​ paid ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ can ​ ​ somehow ​ ​ enhance ​ ​ competition: ​ ​ “There ​ ​ is ​ ​ simply ​ ​ no ​ ​ sound asserting ​ ​ for ​ ​ a ​ ​ blanket ​ ​ prohibition ​ ​ on ​ ​ ​ ​ paid ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ arrangements, ​ ​ particularly ​ ​ when rationale all ​ ​ forms ​ ​ of ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ (especially ​ ​ certain ​ ​ the ​ ​ direction ​ ​ of ​ ​ end ​ ​ users, ​ ​ or ​ ​ for ​ ​ public ​ ​ safety at communications) ​ can ​ ​ be ​ ​ pro-competitive ​ ​ and ​ ​ otherwise ​ ​ beneficial, ​ ​ as ​ ​ is ​ ​ evident ​ ​ in ​ ​ numerous ​ 12 ante commercial ​ ​ contexts.” ​ ​ On ​ ​ the ​ ​ contrary, ​ ​ an ​ ​​ ex ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ban ​ ​ on ​ ​ paid ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ is ​ ​ the ​ other ​ ​ way ​ ​ to ​ ​ promote ​ ​ edge ​ ​ provider ​ ​ competition. optimal ​ ​ against ​ Arguments an ​ ​ upfront ​ ​ ban ​ ​ on ​ ​ paid ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ proceed ​ ​ from ​ ​ the ​ ​ notion ​ ​ that ​ ​ because ​ some ​ ​ forms ​ ​ of ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ can ​ ​ be ​ ​ beneficial ​ ​ to ​ ​ consumers, ​ ​ policymakers ​ ​ should ​ ​ presumptively ​ allow ​ ​​ all ​ ​​ forms ​ ​ of ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ and ​ ​ only ​ ​ retroactively ​ ​ ban ​ ​ those ​ ​ that ​ ​ later ​ ​ prove ​ ​ to ​ ​ be anticompetitive. ​ ​ This ​ ​ formulation ​ ​ ignores ​ ​ both ​ ​ the ​ ​ infrequency ​ ​ of ​ ​ pro-consumer ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ and ​ ​ the ​ ​ relative ​ ​ costs ​ ​ of ​ ​ case-by-case ​ ​ adjudication. ​ ​ While ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ are ​ ​ fond ​ ​ of ​ ​ noting ​ ​ that schemes 13 ​ and ​ ​ autonomous ​ ​ vehicle ​ ​ services ​ ​ are ​ ​ far ​ telemedicine ​ more ​ ​ latency-sensitive ​ ​ than ​ ​ email ​ ​ traffic, ​ these ​ types ​ ​ of ​ ​ unique ​ ​ services ​ ​ are ​ ​ likely ​ ​ to ​ ​ represent ​ ​ a ​ ​ tiny ​ ​ fraction ​ ​ of ​ ​ the ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ deals ​ ISPs ​ ​ will ​ ​ seek ​ ​ to ​ ​ cut ​ ​ if ​ ​ the ​ ​ existing ​ ​ ban ​ ​ on ​ ​ paid ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ is ​ ​ removed. ​ ​ It ​ ​ is ​ ​ far ​ ​ more ​ ​ likely ​ ​ that 12 ​ ​ Comments ​ ​ of ​ ​ Comcast ​ ​ Corporation, ​ ​ WC ​ ​ Docket ​ ​ No. ​ ​ 17-108 ​ at ​ ​ p. ​ ​ 62 ​ ​ (Filed ​ ​ July ​ ​ 10, ​ ​ 2017) ​ ​ (“Comcast ​ Comments”). 13 ​ ​ Comments ​ ​ of ​ ​ AT&T ​ ​ Services, ​ ​ Inc., ​ ​ WC ​ ​ Docket ​ ​ No. ​ ​ 17-108 ​ ​ at ​ ​ p. ​ ​ 5 ​ ​ (Filed ​ ​ July ​ ​ 10, ​ ​ 2017) (“AT&T ​ ​ Comments”). 7

10 ISPs ​ ​ will ​ ​ simply ​ ​ offer ​ ​ priority ​ ​ speeds ​ ​ to ​ ​ well-capitalized ​ ​ incumbents ​ ​ that ​ ​ wish ​ ​ to ​ ​ “differentiate 14 ​ edge ​ ​ services ​ ​ to ​ ​ attract ​ ​ customers.” their ​ ​ the ​ ​ 2015 ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order ​ ​ does ​ ​ not ​ ​ irrevocably ​ ​ ban ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ schemes ​ ​ that ​ ​ are Critically, ​ ​ for ​ ​ unique ​ ​ applications ​ ​ like ​ ​ real-time ​ ​ important ​ ​ services. ​ ​ In ​ ​ fact, ​ ​ it ​ ​ explicitly ​ ​ creates ​ ​ a ​ health ​ ​ system ​ ​ intended ​ ​ to ​ ​ allow ​ ​ for ​ ​ ​ ​ schemes ​ ​ for ​ ​ latency-sensitive ​ ​ applications ​ ​ like waiver prioritization ​ ​ offerings, ​ ​ so ​ ​ long ​ ​ as ​ ​ the ​ ​ party ​ telemedicine ​ that ​ ​ wishes ​ ​ to ​ ​ offer ​ ​ the ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ scheme ​ ​ (i.e. ​ ​ the 15 ​ can ​ ​ show ​ ​ that ​ ​ it ​ ​ does ​ ​ not ​ ​ degrade ​ ​ consumer ​ ​ choice, ​ ​ competition, ​ ​ or ​ ​ expression. ​ ​ This ISP) ​ ​ ​ ​ blocks ​ ​ anti-competitive ​ ​ plans ​ ​ before ​ ​ they ​ ​ can ​ ​ harm system ​ the ​ ​ startups ​ ​ that ​ ​ are ​ ​ responsible ​ ​ for ​ the vast ​ ​ majority ​ ​ of ​ ​ net ​ ​ job ​ ​ growth ​ ​ in ​ ​ this ​ ​ country, ​ ​ while ​ ​ allowing ​ ​ well-financed ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ to ​ advocate ​ ​ for ​ ​ whatever ​ ​ specific ​ ​ pro-competition ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ they ​ ​ may ​ ​ wish ​ ​ to ​ ​ deploy. Converting ​ ​ the ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order’s ​ ​​ ex ​ ​ ante ​ ​​ ban ​ ​ on ​ ​ paid ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ to ​ ​ a ​ ​ system ​ ​ in ​ ​ which ​ ​ ​ plans ​ ​ were ​ ​ presumptively ​ ​ allowed ​ ​ subject ​ ​ to ​ ​​ ex ​ ​ post ​ ​​ review ​ ​ if ​ ​ a ​ ​ disadvantaged ​ such startup ​ ​ ​ would ​ ​ render ​ ​ the ​ ​​ ex ​ ​ post ​ ​ ​ process ​ complains ultimately ​ ​ useless, ​ ​ because ​ ​ startups ​ ​ lack ​ ​ the ​ ​ ​ resources ​ ​ time ​ ​ to ​ ​ challenge ​ ​ anticompetitive ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ practices ​ before ​ ​ an ​ ​ administrative ​ ​ agency ​ ​ or or in ​ ​ court. Since ​ ​ anticompetitive ​ ​ paid ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ schemes ​ ​ are ​ ​ likely ​ ​ to ​ ​ be ​ ​ more ​ ​ common ​ ​ than ​ pro-competition ​ prioritization ​ ​ schemes ​ ​ and ​ ​ because ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ are ​ ​ in ​ ​ a ​ ​ far ​ ​ better ​ ​ position ​ ​ to ​ advocate ​ for ​ pro-competition ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ than ​ ​ startups ​ ​ are ​ ​ to ​ ​ challenge ​ ​ anticompetitive ​ ​ prioritization, ​ ​ an ​ ex ​ ​ ante ​ ​ ​ ban ​ ​ on ​ ​ paid ​ ​ prioritization ​ ​ with ​ ​ a ​ ​ limited ​ ​​ ex ​ ​ post ​ ​​ waiver ​ ​ process ​ ​ for ​ ​ pro-consumer 14 ​ ​ Comcast ​ ​ Comments ​ ​ ​ ​ p. ​ ​ 44. at 15 ​ ​ 2015 ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order ​ ​ at ​ ​ ¶¶ ​ ​ 129-132. 8

11 prioritization ​ ​ remains ​ ​ the ​ ​ optimal ​ ​ way ​ ​ to ​ ​ ensure ​ ​ that ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ do ​ ​ not ​ ​ use ​ ​ their ​ ​ ability ​ ​ to ​ ​ advantage ​ sources ​ ​ of ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ traffic ​ ​ in ​ ​ a ​ ​ way ​ ​ that ​ ​ disrupts ​ ​ the ​ ​ competitive ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ ecosystem. particular ​ ​ ​ Jurisdiction ​ ​ is ​ ​ Insufficient ​ ​ to ​ Protect ​ ​ the ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet 4. FTC ​ ​ commenters ​ ​ in ​ ​ this ​ ​ proceeding ​ ​ have ​ ​ suggested ​ ​ that ​ ​ reclassifying ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ access ​ ​ as ​ ​ a Several ​ has I ​ ​ service ​ ​ will ​ ​ not ​ ​ foreclose ​ ​ the ​ ​ possibility ​ ​ of ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ protections ​ ​ because ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ ​ Title ​ 16 ​ authority ​ ​ and ​ ​ capacity ​ ​ to ​ ​ preserve ​ ​ an ​ ​ open ​ Internet. ​ ​ According ​ ​ to ​ ​ these ​ ​ commenters, ​ ​ even ​ the ​ ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ cannot ​ ​ craft ​ ​ and ​ ​ enforce ​ ​ bright-line ​ ​​ though ​ ​ ante ​ ​ ​ rules ​ ​ against ​ ​ throttling, ​ ​ blocking, ex and ​ paid ​ ​ prioritization, ​ ​ antitrust ​ ​ law ​ ​ and ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC’s ​ ​ “authority ​ ​ to ​ ​ enforce ​ ​ industry ​ ​ commitments” ​ ​ ​ an ​ ​​ ex ​ ​ post ​ ​ ​ basis ​ ​ are ​ ​ somehow ​ ​ adequate ​ ​ to ​ ​ protect ​ ​ the ​ ​ interests ​ ​ of ​ ​ the ​ ​ startups ​ ​ and ​ ​ consumers on 17 ​ will ​ ​ be ​ ​ harmed ​ ​ if ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ are ​ ​ permitted ​ ​ to ​ ​ engage ​ ​ in that ​ discriminatory ​ ​ behavior. ​ ​ ​ ​ arguments ​ ​ ignore ​ ​ the ​ ​ legal ​ ​ and ​ ​ economic ​ ​ realities ​ ​ of ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ enforcement. ​ ​ Unlike ​ ​ These the bright-line ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ rules ​ ​ established ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ 2015 ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order, ​ ​ shifting ​ responsibility ​ ​ for ​ ​ policing ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ violations ​ ​ to ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ would ​ ​ impose ​ ​ impossible ​ ​ costs ​ ​ on the ​ ​ startups ​ ​ that ​ ​ will ​ ​ be ​ ​ most ​ ​ harmed ​ ​ by ​ ​ anticompetitive ​ ​ activities. ​ ​ Under ​ ​ an ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ enforcement ​ ​ the ​ ​ agency ​ ​ can ​ ​ only ​ ​ address ​ ​ anticompetitive ​ regime, ​ ISP ​ ​ practices ​ ​ after ​ ​ the ​ ​ damage ​ ​ to ​ ​ innovation and ​ startup ​ ​ investment ​ ​ has ​ ​ already ​ ​ occurred. ​ ​ Startups ​ ​ operate ​ ​ on ​ ​ incredibly ​ ​ short ​ ​ runways ​ ​ and ​ thin ​ ​ margins. ​ ​ By ​ ​ the ​ ​ time ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ or ​ ​ DOJ ​ ​ Antitrust ​ ​ Division ​ ​ can ​ ​ initiate ​ ​ an ​ ​ action ​ ​ to ​ ​ remedy have abusive ​ ISP ​ ​ practices, ​ ​ those ​ ​ abusive ​ ​ practices ​ ​ will ​ ​ ​ ​ already ​ ​ put ​ ​ affected ​ ​ startups ​ ​ out ​ ​ of ​ business. ​ ​ Considering ​ ​ how ​ ​ lengthy ​ ​ and ​ ​ expensive ​ ​ antitrust ​ ​ cases ​ ​ can ​ ​ be, ​ ​ it ​ ​ is ​ ​ impossible ​ ​ to 16 ​ ​ Comcast ​ ​ Comments ​ ​ at ​ ​ p. ​ ​ 63; ​ ​ NCTA ​ ​ Comments ​ ​ at ​ ​ p. ​ ​ 54. 17 ​ NCTA ​ ​ Comments ​ ​ ​ at ​ ​ 55. 9

12 imagine ​ any ​ ​ startup ​ ​ having ​ ​ the ​ ​ resources ​ ​ to ​ ​ survive ​ ​ long ​ ​ enough ​ ​ for ​ ​ an ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ proceeding ​ ​ to ​ ​ end, ​ ​ ​ initiating ​ ​ and ​ ​ winning ​ ​ an ​ ​ antitrust ​ ​ action. ​ less ​ Even ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ opponents ​ ​ concede ​ ​ that ​ ​ much ​ litigation ​ ​ imposes ​ ​ significant ​ ​ costs ​ ​ on ​ ​ private ​ ​ litigants, ​ ​ and “antitrust ​ it ​ ​ does ​ ​ not ​ ​ provide ​ ​ timely ​ ​ 18 ​ Any ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ rules ​ ​ that ​ ​ either ​ ​ require ​ ​ a ​ startup ​ ​ to ​ ​ initiate ​ ​ an ​ ​ action ​ ​ to ​ ​ challenge ​ relief.” ​ ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ conduct ​ ​ or ​ ​ depend ​ ​ on ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ reacting ​ ​ to ​ ​ marketplace ​ ​ harms ​ ​ after ​ ​ they ​ ​ have abusive ​ occurred are ​ ​ functionally ​ ​ useless ​ ​ for ​ ​ the ​ ​ startups ​ ​ and ​ ​ innovators ​ ​ that ​ ​ depend ​ ​ on ​ ​ the ​ ​ existing ​ ​ net ​ regime. ​ neutrality ​ ​ the ​ ​ obvious ​ ​ logistical ​ ​ problems ​ ​ with ​ ​ FTC ​ Beyond enforcement, ​ ​ it’s ​ ​ not ​ ​ even ​ ​ clear ​ ​ that ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ ​ ​ the ​ ​ substantive ​ ​ capacity ​ ​ to ​ ​ meaningfully ​ ​ address ​ ​ threats ​ ​ to ​ ​ the ​ ​ open ​ ​ Internet. ​ ​ Former has ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ Commissioner ​ ​ J. ​ ​ Thomas ​ ​ Rosch ​ ​ recognized ​ ​ the ​ ​ limitations ​ ​ of ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC’s Republican ​ ​ to ​ ​ address ​ ​ open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ issues, ​ ​ saying ​ ​ in ​ ​ 2008 ​ ​ “as ​ ​ an ​ ​ antitrust ​ ​ litigator, ​ ​ I ​ ​ doubt ​ ​ that capacity 19 ​ ​ can ​ ​ address ​ ​ many, ​ ​ if ​ ​ any, ​ ​ of ​ ​ the ​ ​ problems ​ ​ cited ​ ​ by ​ ​ network ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ proponents.” ​ ​ As antitrust 20 Commissioner ​ Rosch ​ ​ noted, ​ ​ antitrust ​ ​ law ​ ​ generally ​ ​ does ​ ​ not ​ ​ apply ​ ​ to ​ ​ single ​ ​ firm ​ ​ conduct. ​ ​ And ​ ​ ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ opponents ​ ​ have ​ ​ noted, ​ ​ antitrust ​ as ​ law ​ ​ is ​ ​ principally ​ ​ designed ​ ​ to ​ ​ address ​ ​ direct ​ and immediate ​ competition ​ ​ or ​ ​ consumer ​ ​ harms ​ ​ and ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ cannot ​ ​ rectify ​ ​ problems ​ ​ associated ​ ​ with generally 18 ​ ​ Hal ​ ​ Singer, ​ ​ “Paid ​ ​ Prioritization ​ ​ and ​ ​ Zero ​ ​ Rating: ​ ​ Why ​ ​ Antitrust ​ ​ Cannot ​ ​ Reach ​ ​ the ​ ​ Part ​ ​ of ​ ​ Net ​ Neutrality ​ Everyone ​ ​ Is ​ ​ Concerned ​ ​ About,” ​ ​​ The ​ ​ Antitrust ​ ​ Approach ​ , ​ (Aug. ​ ​ 2017) ​ ​ at ​ ​ p. ​ ​ 1, ​ ​ available ​ ​ at ​ https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publishing/antitrust_source/aug17_singer_8_2f.authcheckd am.pdf. 19 ​ ​ J. ​ ​ Thomas ​ ​ Rosch, ​ ​ “Broadband ​ ​ Access ​ ​ Policy: ​ ​ The ​ ​ Role ​ ​ of ​ ​ Antitrust,” ​ ​ Remarks ​ ​ Presented ​ ​ at ​ ​ the Broadband ​ Policy ​ ​ Summit ​ ​ IV: ​ ​ Navigating ​ ​ the ​ ​ Digital ​ ​ ​ Revolution ​ ​ (Jun. ​ ​ 13, ​ ​ 2008), http://www.ftc.gov/speeches/rosch/080613broadbandaccess.pdf. 20 ​ ​​ Id. 10

13 lost ​ ​ innovation, ​ ​ even ​ ​ though ​ ​ this ​ ​ decrease ​ ​ in ​ ​ innovation ​ ​ will ​ ​ ultimately ​ ​ result ​ ​ in ​ ​ less ​ ​ competition 21 ​ in ​ ​ turn ​ ​ less ​ ​ consumer ​ ​ welfare ​ ​ down ​ ​ the ​ ​ road. and ​ ​ recognizing ​ ​ that ​ ​ antitrust ​ ​ law ​ ​ is ​ ​ inadequate ​ ​ to ​ ​ address ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ harms, ​ ​ ISP Perhaps ​ ​ argue ​ ​ that ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ could ​ ​ enforce ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ commenters ​ rules ​ ​ by ​ ​ hoping ​ ​ that ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ “develop ​ ​ ​ of ​ ​ conduct ​ ​ to ​ ​ ensure ​ ​ that ​ ​ their ​ ​ members ​ ​ are ​ ​ committed ​ ​ to ​ ​ adhering ​ ​ to ​ ​ open ​ ​ Internet codes ​ ​ and ​ ​ taking ​ ​ action ​ ​ under ​ ​ its ​ ​ authority ​ ​ to ​ ​ police ​ ​ “unfair ​ ​ and ​ ​ deceptive ​ ​ acts ​ ​ or ​ principles” practices” ​ 22 ​ and ​ ​ when ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ break ​ ​ those ​ ​ voluntary ​ ​ commitments. ​ ​ Of ​ ​ course, ​ ​ because ​ ​ such ​ ​ personal if ​ ​ ​ or ​ ​ industry ​ ​ agreements ​ ​ are ​ ​ by ​ ​ definition ​ ​ voluntary ​ ​ and ​ ​ can ​ ​ be ​ ​ disavowed ​ ​ at ​ ​ any commitments ​ ​ this ​ ​ proposal ​ ​ is ​ ​ akin ​ ​ to ​ ​ having ​ ​ no ​ ​ rules ​ ​ at ​ ​ all. ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ time, ​ ​ only ​ ​ enter ​ ​ into ​ ​ such ​ ​ commitments ​ ​ if will they ​ want ​ ​ to, ​ ​ just ​ ​ as ​ ​ they ​ ​ can ​ ​ choose ​ ​ to ​ ​ abide ​ ​ by ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ principles ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ absence ​ ​ of ​ ​ bright ​ line ​ ​ rules. ​ ​ There ​ ​ is ​ ​ no ​ ​ way ​ ​ for ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ to ​ ​ force ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ to ​ ​ make ​ ​ such ​ ​ commitments, ​ ​ nor ​ ​ is ​ ​ there ​ ​ any way ​ ​ to ​ ​ require ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ to ​ ​ maintain ​ ​ those ​ ​ commitments ​ ​ over ​ ​ time. ​ ​ If ​ ​ an ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ wants ​ ​ to ​ ​ violate ​ ​ in ​ ​ net ​ ​ principles, ​ ​ it ​ ​ simply ​ ​ has ​ ​ to ​ ​ rescind ​ ​ its ​ ​ voluntary ​ ​ commitments, ​ ​ and ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ would ​ ​ be neutrality ​ ​ to ​ intercede. unable ​ ​ ​ claims ​ ​ about ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC’s ​ ​ rulemaking ​ ​ authority ​ ​ similarly ​ ​ overstate ​ ​ its ​ ​ capacity ​ ​ to Commenters’ ​ ​ ​ net address ​ neutrality ​ ​ violations ​ ​ in ​ ​ any ​ ​ meaningful ​ ​ way. ​ ​ Verizon ​ ​ alleges ​ ​ that ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ can ​ ​ protect 21 ​ Singer, ​ ​​ supra ​ ​​ note ​ ​ 18. ​ ​ (“[P]rivate ​ ​ litigants ​ ​ who ​ ​ are ​ ​ denied ​ ​ the ​ ​ paid ​ ​ arrangement ​ ​ are ​ ​ unlikely ​ ​ to ​ ​ pursue ​ antitrust ​ ​ cases ​ ​ where ​ ​ the ​ ​ only ​ ​ potential ​ ​ harm ​ ​ to ​ ​ competition ​ ​ is ​ ​ an ​ ​ innovation ​ ​ loss ​ ​ (in ​ ​ the ​ ​ form ​ ​ of ​ ​ less investment/innovation ​ ​ by ​ ​ edge ​ ​ providers ​ ​ in ​ ​ future ​ ​ periods). ​ ​ The ​ ​ anticompetitive ​ ​ effects ​ ​ here ​ ​ are ​ ​ assumed least ​ ​ to ​ ​ take ​ ​ the ​ ​ form ​ not of ​ ​ price ​ ​ or ​ ​ output ​ ​ effects, ​ ​ at ​ ​ ​ ​ not ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ short ​ ​ run. ​ ​ When ​ ​ an ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ favors ​ ​ one ​ content ​ ​ provider, ​ ​ the ​ ​ primary ​ ​ effect ​ ​ is ​ ​ to ​ ​ shift ​ ​ views ​ ​ (or ​ ​ clicks) ​ ​ towards ​ ​ the ​ ​ favored ​ ​ website ​ ​ and ​ ​ away disfavored from ​ the ​ ​ ​ ​ website.”) ​ 22 ​ ​ Verizon ​ ​ Comments ​ ​ at ​ ​ p. ​ ​ 65; ​ ​​ see ​ ​ also ​ ​ ​ Comments ​ ​ of ​ ​ Cox ​ ​ Communications, ​ ​ Inc., ​ ​ WC ​ ​ Docket ​ ​ No. ​ ​ 17-108 at ​ p. ​ ​ 23 ​ ​ (Filed ​ ​ ​ July ​ ​ 10, ​ ​ 2017). 11

14 against ​ ​ threats ​ ​ to ​ ​ the ​ ​ open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ by ​ ​ “using ​ ​ a ​ ​ rulemaking ​ ​ proceeding” ​ ​ to ​ ​ target ​ ​ prevalent ​ ​ unfair 23 ​ In ​ ​ reality, ​ ​ however, ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC’s ​ ​ rulemaking ​ ​ authority ​ ​ is ​ ​ incredibly ​ ​ constrained ​ ​ and practices. ​ the ​ ​ addressing ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ harms. ​ ​ By ​ ​ statute, ​ ​ of ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ can ​ ​ only ​ ​ initiate ​ ​ a ​ ​ rulemaking ​ ​ incapable ​ addressing ​ ​ unfair ​ ​ practices ​ ​ if ​ ​ such ​ ​ practices ​ ​ are ​ ​ “prevalent,” ​ ​ meaning ​ ​ it proceeding ​ must ​ ​ first ​ ​ ​ ​ that ​ ​ the ​ ​ unfair ​ ​ practice ​ ​ is ​ ​ “widespread” ​ ​ and ​ ​ it ​ ​ must ​ ​ have ​ ​ already ​ “issued ​ ​ cease ​ ​ and ​ ​ desist find ​ 24 ​ regarding ​ ​ such ​ ​ acts ​ ​ or ​ ​ practices.” ​ orders ​ ​ assuming ​ ​ the ​ ​ types ​ ​ of ​ ​ practices ​ ​ currently ​ ​ barred Even ​ under ​ ​ the ​ ​ 2015 ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order ​ ​ would ​ fall ​ within ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC’s ​ ​ ability ​ ​ to ​ ​ police ​ ​ “unfair” ​ ​ practices, ​ ​ by ​ ​ the ​ ​ time ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ could ​ ​ even ​ ​ begin ​ ​ a ​ ​ ​ proceeding ​ ​ to ​ ​ address ​ ​ such ​ ​ activities, ​ ​ the ​ ​ damage ​ ​ to ​ ​ startup ​ ​ growth ​ ​ and ​ ​ innovation rulemaking ​ ​ already ​ ​ have ​ ​ been ​ ​ done. ​ ​ As ​ ​ numerous ​ ​ scholars ​ ​ have ​ ​ will ​ ​ out, ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ exercises ​ ​ its pointed rulemaking ​ authority ​ ​ infrequently ​ ​ and ​ ​ when ​ ​ it ​ ​ does ​ ​ so, ​ ​ it ​ ​ proceeds ​ ​ at ​ ​ a ​ ​ glacial ​ ​ pace. ​ ​ According ​ ​ to ​ one ​ ​ study ​ ​ of ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ rulemaking, ​ ​ it ​ ​ takes ​ ​ on ​ ​ average ​ ​ more ​ ​ than ​ ​ five ​ ​ years ​ ​ for ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ to ​ ​ pass ​ ​ a 25 rule. ​ For ​ ​ a ​ ​ startup ​ ​ facing ​ ​ a ​ ​ competitive ​ ​ disadvantage ​ ​ from ​ ​ discriminatory ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ practices, ​ ​ the ​ ​ ​ time ​ ​ horizon ​ ​ of ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ rulemaking ​ ​ renders ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ involvement ​ ​ useless. long ​ ​ the ​ ​ practical ​ ​ timeline ​ ​ of ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ rulemaking ​ ​ and ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC’s ​ ​ limited Given ​ authority ​ ​ to ​ ​ promulgate ​ rules, ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ is ​ ​ ill-suited ​ ​ to ​ ​ address ​ ​ threats ​ ​ to ​ ​ the ​ ​ open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ that ​ ​ will ​ ​ evolve ​ ​ as ​ ​ the ​ underlying ​ ​ technology ​ ​ evolves. ​ ​ When ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ develop ​ ​ new ​ ​ ways ​ ​ to ​ ​ leverage ​ ​ their ​ ​ gatekeeper ​ power ​ to ​ ​ their ​ ​ own ​ ​ economic ​ ​ advantage ​ ​ in ​ ​ a ​ ​ manner ​ ​ that ​ ​ disrupts ​ open ​ ​ competition ​ ​ on ​ ​ the ​ 23 ​ Verizon ​ ​ Comments ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ p. ​ ​ 17. at 24 ​ ​ 15 ​ ​ U.S.C. ​ ​ § ​ ​ 57a(b)(3). 25 the ​​ ​ Thomas ​ ​ O. ​ ​ McGarity, ​ ​ “Some ​ ​ Thoughts ​ ​ on ​ ​ ‘Deossifying’ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Rulemaking ​ ​ Process,” ​ ​ 41 ​ ​ DUKE ​ ​ L.J. 1385, ​ 1389-1390 ​ ​ ​ (1992). 12

15 Internet, ​ ​ the ​ ​ FTC ​ ​ will ​ ​ be ​ ​ unable ​ ​ to ​ ​ respond ​ ​ until ​ ​ the ​ ​ competitive ​ ​ harms ​ ​ are ​ ​ already ​ ​ inflicted, ​ ​ if ​ ​ it ​ the ​ ​ authority ​ ​ to ​ ​ respond ​ ​ at ​ ​ all. has ​ ​ ​ Line ​ ​ Net ​ ​ 5. ​ ​ Rules ​ ​ Are ​ ​ Critical ​ ​ For ​ ​ Promoting ​ ​ Investment ​ ​ In ​ ​ Edge Bright Neutrality Providers ​ ​ their ​ ​ filings ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ initial ​ ​ comment ​ ​ period, ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ argued ​ ​ that ​ ​ broadband ​ ​ investment Throughout ​ ​ ​ a ​ ​ marked ​ ​ decrease ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ aftermath ​ ​ of ​ saw the ​ ​ 2015 ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order. ​ ​ The ​ ​ studies ​ ​ regarding ​ their ​ investment ​ ​ that ​ ​ they ​ ​ cite ​ ​ are ​ ​ inconsistent ​ ​ with ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ statements ​ ​ to ​ ​ investors ​ ​ and ​ ​ to ​ ​ the ​ ​ FCC. Internet ISP ​ executives ​ ​ have ​ ​ repeatedly ​ ​ said ​ ​ that ​ ​ the ​ ​ Open ​ ​ ​ ​ Order ​ ​ “didn’t ​ ​ really ​ ​ hurt ​ ​ us” ​ ​ and ​ ​ that ​ their ​ ​ opposition ​ ​ to ​ ​ the ​ ​ FCC’s ​ ​ 2015 ​ ​ rulemaking ​ ​ stemmed ​ ​ from ​ ​ “the ​ ​ fear ​ ​ of ​ ​ what ​ ​ Title ​ ​ II ​ ​ could 26 have ​ meant, ​ ​ more ​ ​ than ​ ​ what ​ ​ it ​ ​ actually ​ ​ did ​ ​ mean.” ​ ​ Because ​ ​ the ​ ​ FCC ​ ​ forebore ​ ​ from ​ ​ the ​ ​ aspects ​ ​ ​ the ​ ​ Title ​ ​ II ​ ​ regime ​ ​ that ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ had ​ ​ argued ​ ​ would ​ ​ curtail ​ ​ network ​ ​ investment ​ ​ (e.g. ​ ​ unbundling of 27 ​ rate ​ ​ regulation), ​ ​ the ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order ​ ​ should ​ ​ have ​ ​ no ​ ​ plausible ​ ​ impact ​ ​ on ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ and ​ network investment, ​ as ​ ​ their ​ ​ executives ​ ​ are ​ ​ quick ​ ​ to ​ ​ point ​ ​ out ​ ​ to ​ ​ Wall ​ ​ Street ​ ​ analysts. ​ ​ Questions of ​ ​ accuracy ​ ​ aside, ​ ​ discussions ​ ​ of ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ investment ​ ​ are ​ ​ only ​ ​ one ​ ​ aspect ​ ​ of ​ ​ the ​ ​ investment ​ necessary ​ ​ to ​ ​ drive ​ ​ the ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ ecosystem. ​ ​ Under ​ ​ the ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ protections ​ ​ in ​ ​ place ​ ​ in ​ ​ various forms ​ ​ since ​ ​ 2010, ​ ​ venture ​ ​ capitalists ​ ​ have ​ ​ invested ​ ​ billions ​ ​ of ​ ​ dollars ​ ​ in ​ ​ Internet-enabled ​ ​ The ​ startups. confidence ​ ​ to ​ ​ invest ​ ​ capital ​ ​ in ​ ​ inherently ​ ​ risky ​ ​ new ​ ​ and ​ ​ small ​ ​ companies ​ ​ comes, ​ ​ in ​ 26 ​ ​ Jon ​ ​ Brodkin, ​ ​ “Title ​ ​ II ​ ​ Hasn’t ​ ​ Hurt ​ ​ Network ​ ​ Investment ​ ​ According ​ ​ to ​ ​ the ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ Themselves,” ​ ​​ Ars ​ Technica ​ ​ May ​ ​ 16, ​ , 2017, ​ ​ at ​ https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/05/title-ii-hasnt-hurt-network-investment-according -to-the-isps-themselves/ 27 ​ ​ Comments ​ ​ of ​ ​ Engine, ​ ​ WC ​ ​ Docket ​ ​ No. ​ ​ 17-108 ​ ​ at ​ ​ p. ​ ​ 13 ​ ​ (Filed ​ ​ July ​ ​ 10, ​ ​ 2017). 13

16 large ​ ​ part, ​ ​ from ​ ​ knowing ​ ​ that ​ ​ edge ​ ​ provider ​ ​ access ​ ​ to ​ ​ their ​ ​ users ​ ​ won’t ​ ​ be ​ ​ subject ​ ​ to ​ ​ the ​ ​ whims ​ ISPs. ​ ​ Without ​ ​ the ​ ​ bright-line ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ rules ​ ​ in ​ ​ place, ​ ​ investors ​ ​ will ​ ​ have ​ ​ to ​ ​ consider of ​ ​ a ​ ​ startup ​ ​ can ​ ​ afford ​ ​ to ​ ​ pay ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ upfront ​ ​ for ​ ​ fair ​ ​ access ​ ​ to ​ ​ users ​ ​ and ​ ​ whether ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ will ​ whether ​ a ​ ​ startup’s ​ ​ access ​ ​ to ​ ​ its ​ ​ users ​ ​ because ​ ​ it ​ ​ either ​ ​ owns ​ ​ a ​ ​ competitor ​ ​ or ​ ​ works ​ ​ with ​ ​ a ​ disadvantage ​ ​ who ​ ​ can ​ ​ afford ​ ​ to ​ ​ pay ​ ​ more. ​ ​ Being ​ ​ put ​ ​ at ​ ​ such ​ ​ a ​ ​ competitive ​ ​ disadvantage ​ ​ to competitor ​ will ​ incumbents ​ ​ drive ​ ​ down ​ ​ the ​ ​ value ​ ​ of ​ ​ early ​ ​ stage ​ ​ companies ​ ​ and ​ ​ disrupt ​ ​ the ​ ​ investments ​ ​ capital ​ ​ and ​ ​ angel ​ ​ investors ​ ​ have ​ ​ made. venture ​ ​ harm ​ ​ that ​ ​ will ​ ​ derive ​ ​ from ​ ​ upsetting ​ ​ these ​ ​ settled ​ ​ expectations ​ ​ is ​ ​ massive. ​ ​ According ​ ​ to ​ ​ a The ​ ​ submitted ​ ​ by ​ ​ a ​ ​ subset ​ letter ​ of ​ ​ the ​ ​ leading ​ ​ venture ​ ​ capitalists ​ ​ over ​ ​ the ​ ​ past ​ ​ decade, ​ ​ investors ​ ​ in some ​ of ​ ​ the ​ ​ fastest ​ ​ growing ​ ​ startups ​ ​ made ​ ​ their ​ ​ investment ​ ​ decisions ​ ​ in ​ ​ reliance ​ ​ “on ​ ​ the ​ ​ certainty ​ of ​ ​ a ​ ​ level ​ ​ playing ​ ​ field ​ ​ and ​ ​ assurances ​ ​ against ​ ​ discrimination ​ ​ and ​ ​ access ​ ​ fees ​ ​ from ​ ​ Internet access ​ ​ providers, ​ ​ including ​ ​ through ​ ​ the ​ ​ rules ​ ​ established ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ FCC’s ​ ​ 2015 ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order 28 ​ the ​ ​ Commission’s ​ ​ long-standing ​ ​ actions ​ ​ undertaken ​ ​ to ​ ​ protect ​ ​ the ​ ​ open ​ ​ Internet.” ​ ​ The ​ and ​ ​ on ​ ​ this ​ ​ letter ​ ​ have ​ ​ invested ​ ​ more ​ ​ than ​ ​ $24 ​ ​ billion investors ​ in ​ ​ over ​ ​ 3,000 ​ ​ startups ​ ​ since ​ ​ the ​ ​ FCC ​ issued ​ bright-line ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ rules ​ ​ in ​ ​ its ​ ​ 2010 ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order. ​ ​ According ​ ​ to ​ ​ the ​ signatories, ​ ​ removing ​ ​ the ​ ​ strong ​ ​​ ex ​ ​ ante ​ ​ ​ protections ​ ​ against ​ ​ ISP ​ ​ discrimination ​ ​ will ​ ​ curb of investment ​ at ​ ​ the ​ ​ edge. ​ ​ Given ​ ​ the ​ ​ central ​ ​ importance ​ ​ ​ ​ startup ​ ​ innovation ​ ​ to ​ ​ the ​ ​ growth ​ ​ of ​ ​ the ​ Internet ​ ​ ecosystem ​ ​ as ​ ​ a ​ ​ whole, ​ ​ the ​ ​ FCC ​ ​ needs ​ ​ to ​ ​ take ​ ​ these ​ ​ investment ​ ​ figures—and ​ ​ the net regulatory ​ environment ​ ​ that ​ ​ allowed ​ ​ for ​ ​ them—into ​ ​ account ​ ​ when ​ ​ considering ​ ​ the ​ ​ impact ​ ​ of ​ ​ ​ the neutrality ​ rules ​ ​ on ​ ​ ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ economy. ​ 28 ​ ​​ See ​ ​ ​ Exhibit ​ ​ A ​ ​ attached ​ ​ hereto. 14

17 The ​ investments ​ ​ identified ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ VC ​ ​ letter ​ ​ represent ​ ​ only ​ ​ a ​ ​ portion ​ ​ of ​ ​ the ​ ​ investments ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ economy ​ ​ that ​ ​ will ​ ​ be ​ ​ negatively ​ ​ impacted ​ ​ if ​ ​ the ​ ​ existing ​ ​ Title ​ ​ II-based ​ ​ protections ​ ​ are startup ​ ​ Given ​ ​ the ​ ​ inherent ​ ​ uncertainty ​ ​ around ​ ​ startup ​ ​ success, ​ ​ it’s ​ ​ virtually ​ ​ impossible ​ ​ to eliminated. ​ ​ quantify ​ ​ ​ the ​ ​ negative ​ ​ impact ​ ​ rolling ​ ​ back ​ ​ the ​ ​ current ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ protections ​ ​ would ​ ​ have fully ​ ​ future ​ ​ investment ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ potential ​ ​ startup ​ ​ economy. ​ ​ According ​ ​ to on ​ some ​ ​ estimates, ​ ​ venture ​ 29 ​ investment ​ ​ has ​ ​ increased ​ ​ steadily ​ ​ from ​ ​ $31 ​ ​ billion ​ ​ in ​ ​ 2010 ​ ​ to ​ ​ nearly ​ ​ $70 ​ ​ billion ​ ​ in capital ​ 30 ​ ​ That ​ ​ rate ​ ​ of ​ ​ growth ​ ​ is ​ ​ neither ​ ​ linear 2016. ​ nor ​ ​ predictable, ​ ​ and ​ ​ changing ​ ​ the ​ ​ current ​ ​ regulatory ​ ​ ​ to ​ ​ make ​ ​ investing ​ ​ startups ​ ​ more ​ ​ costly ​ ​ and ​ ​ risky ​ ​ would ​ ​ do ​ ​ untold ​ ​ damage ​ ​ to ​ ​ startup regime investment. ​ ​ As ​ ​ the ​ ​ venture ​ ​ capital ​ ​ investors ​ ​ explain ​ ​ in ​ ​ their ​ ​ letter, ​ ​ removing ​ ​ bright-line ​ ​ rules ​ ​ will stifle ​ ​ investment ​ ​ throughout ​ ​ the ​ ​ startup ​ ​ ecosystem, ​ ​ putting ​ ​ all ​ ​ of ​ ​ this ​ ​ venture ​ ​ investment ​ ​ at ​ ​ risk. 6. Conclusion ​ proposals ​ ​ outlined ​ ​ in ​ ​ comments ​ ​ from ​ ​ the ​ ​ ISPs ​ ​ are ​ ​ not ​ ​ adequate ​ ​ substitutes ​ ​ for ​ ​ the ​ ​ current The ​ ​ ​ bright-line ​ ​ rules ​ ​ enforced ​ ​ by ​ ​ the ​ ​ FCC. ​ ​ upfront, ​ ​ current ​ ​ protections, ​ ​ building ​ ​ off ​ ​ of ​ ​ net The neutrality ​ rules ​ ​ in ​ ​ place ​ ​ since ​ ​ 2010, ​ ​ have ​ ​ played ​ ​ a ​ ​ key ​ ​ role ​ ​ in ​ ​ fostering ​ ​ the ​ ​ thriving ​ ​ startup ​ ecosystem ​ ​ in ​ ​ this ​ ​ country ​ ​ today. ​ ​ Eliminating ​ ​ those ​ ​ protections ​ ​ would ​ ​ make ​ ​ it ​ ​ impossible ​ ​ for startups ​ to ​ ​ compete ​ ​ on ​ ​ a ​ ​ level ​ ​ playing ​ ​ field, ​ ​ driving ​ ​ down ​ ​ investment ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ ecosystem, ​ 29 ​ ​ PitchBook ​ ​ & ​ ​ NVCA, ​ ​ “Venture ​ ​ Monitor ​ ​ Q3 ​ ​ 2016,” ​ ​ (2016) ​ ​ at ​ ​ p. ​ ​ 4, ​ ​ available ​ ​ at https://files.pitchbook.com/pdf/PitchBook-NVCA_3Q_2016_Venture_Monitor.pdf. 30 ​ ​ PitchBook ​ ​ & ​ ​ NVCA, ​ ​ “After ​ ​ Peaking ​ ​ in ​ ​ 2015, ​ ​ Venture ​ ​ Investment ​ ​ Activity ​ ​ Normalizes ​ ​ in ​ ​ 2016, ​ According ​ to ​ ​ PitchBook-NVCA ​ ​ Venture ​ ​ Monitor,” ​ ​ (Jan. ​ ​ 11, ​ ​ 2017), ​ ​ available ​ ​ at https://nvca.org/pressreleases/peaking-2015-venture-investment-activity-normalizes-2016-according-pitch book-nvca-venture-monitor/. 15

18 ​ diminishing ​ the ​ ​ positive ​ ​ impact ​ ​ startups ​ ​ have ​ ​ on ​ ​ the ​ ​ economy ​ ​ and ​ ​ job ​ ​ creation, ​ ​ and ​ ​ denying services consumers ​ the ​ ​ innovative ​ ​ products ​ ​ and ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ startups ​ ​ have ​ ​ to ​ ​ offer. 16

19 Exhibit ​ ​ A

20 The ​ Honorable ​ ​ Ajit ​ ​ Pai, ​ ​ Chairman ​ Federal ​ ​ Commission ​ ​ Communications ​ ​ ​ Street, ​ ​ SW 445 ​ 12th ​ D.C. ​ ​ 20554 Washington ​ 30, ​ ​ 2017 ​ August ​ Pai: Chairman ​ ​ ​ ​ Dear ​ write ​ ​ to ​ ​ express ​ ​ our ​ ​ support ​ ​ for ​ ​ a ​ ​ free ​ ​ and ​ We open ​ ​ Internet, ​ ​ and ​ ​ share ​ ​ our ​ ​ concerns ​ ​ regarding ​ ​ ​ ​ plan ​ ​ to ​ ​ roll-back ​ ​ the ​ ​ existing, ​ ​ strong ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ rules ​ ​ under ​ ​ Title ​ ​ II ​ ​ of ​ ​ the your ​ ​ Act. Communications ​ ​ invest ​ We ​ in ​ ​ entrepreneurs, ​ ​ risking ​ ​ our ​ ​ own ​ ​ funds ​ ​ and ​ ​ those ​ ​ of ​ ​ our ​ ​ investors ​ ​ (who ​ ​ are individuals, ​ pension ​ ​ funds, ​ ​ endowments, ​ ​ and ​ ​ financial ​ ​ institutions). ​ ​ Collectively, ​ ​ we ​ ​ have ​ ​ ​ more ​ ​ than ​ ​ $24 ​ ​ billion ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ startup ​ ​ economy ​ ​ over ​ ​ the ​ invested ​ last ​ ​ seven ​ ​ years. ​ ​ often ​ We ​ invest ​ ​ at ​ ​ the ​ ​ earliest ​ ​ stages, ​ ​ when ​ ​ companies ​ ​ consist ​ ​ of ​ ​ just ​ ​ a ​ ​ handful ​ ​ of ​ ​ founders ​ ​ with largely ​ ​ unproven ​ ​ ideas. ​ ​ But, ​ ​ without ​ ​ the ​ ​ need ​ ​ for ​ ​ lawyers, ​ ​ large ​ ​ teams ​ ​ or ​ ​ major ​ ​ revenues, ​ ​ these small ​ ​ startups ​ ​ have ​ ​ had ​ ​ the ​ ​ opportunity ​ ​ to ​ ​ experiment, ​ ​ adapt, ​ ​ and ​ ​ grow, ​ ​ thanks ​ ​ to ​ ​ equal ​ ​ access ​ ​ to ​ ​ ​ global ​ ​ market. ​ ​ As ​ ​ a ​ ​ result, ​ ​ some ​ the ​ of ​ ​ the ​ ​ startups ​ ​ we ​ ​ have ​ ​ invested ​ ​ in ​ ​ have ​ managed ​ ​ to ​ ​ become among ​ the ​ ​ most ​ ​ admired, ​ ​ successful, ​ ​ and ​ ​ ​ influential ​ ​ companies ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ world. We ​ ​ have ​ ​ made ​ ​ our ​ ​ investment ​ ​ decisions ​ ​ based ​ ​ on ​ ​ the ​ ​ certainty ​ ​ of ​ ​ a ​ ​ level ​ ​ playing ​ ​ field ​ ​ and assurances ​ ​ against ​ ​ discrimination ​ ​ and ​ ​ access ​ ​ fees ​ ​ from ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ access ​ ​ providers, ​ ​ including 2015 ​ ​ the ​ through rules ​ ​ established ​ ​ in ​ ​ the ​ ​ FCC’s ​ ​ ​ ​ Open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ Order ​ ​ and ​ ​ the ​ ​ Commission’s ​ long-standing ​ ​ actions ​ ​ undertaken ​ ​ to ​ ​ protect ​ ​ the ​ ​ open ​ ​ Internet. ​ ​ Indeed, ​ ​ our ​ ​ investment ​ ​ decisions in ​ Internet ​ ​ companies ​ ​ are ​ ​ dependent ​ ​ upon ​ ​ the ​ ​ certainty ​ ​ of ​ ​ an ​ ​ equal-opportunity ​ ​ marketplace, ​ ​ ​ and ​ the ​ low ​ ​ barriers ​ ​ to ​ ​ entry ​ ​ that ​ ​ have ​ ​ existed ​ ​ on ​ ​ the ​ ​ Internet.

21 Based ​ ​ on ​ ​ news ​ ​ reports ​ ​ and ​ ​ your ​ ​ own ​ ​ statements, ​ ​ we ​ ​ are ​ ​ worried ​ ​ that ​ ​ your ​ ​ proposed ​ ​ rules ​ ​ will ​ provide ​ ​ the ​ ​ necessary ​ ​ certainty ​ ​ that ​ ​ we ​ ​ need ​ ​ to ​ ​ make ​ ​ investment ​ ​ decisions ​ ​ and ​ ​ that ​ ​ these not ​ ​ ​ stifle ​ ​ innovation ​ ​ in ​ will ​ the ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ sector. rules ​ ​ ​ established ​ ​ companies ​ ​ are ​ ​ able ​ ​ to ​ ​ pay ​ ​ for ​ ​ better ​ ​ access ​ ​ speeds ​ ​ or ​ ​ lower ​ ​ latency, ​ ​ the ​ ​ Internet If ​ ​ no ​ ​ longer ​ ​ be ​ ​ a ​ ​ level ​ ​ playing ​ ​ field. ​ ​ Start-ups ​ ​ with ​ ​ applications ​ ​ that ​ ​ are ​ ​ advantaged ​ ​ by ​ ​ speed will ​ ​ ​ as ​ ​ games, ​ ​ video, ​ ​ or ​ ​ payment ​ ​ systems) ​ ​ will ​ ​ be ​ ​ unlikely ​ ​ to ​ ​ overcome ​ ​ that ​ ​ deficit ​ ​ no ​ ​ matter (such ​ ​ innovative ​ ​ their ​ ​ service. ​ ​ Entrepreneurs ​ ​ will ​ ​ need ​ ​ to ​ ​ raise ​ ​ money ​ ​ to ​ ​ buy ​ ​ fast ​ ​ lane ​ ​ services how ​ consumers ​ they ​ ​ have ​ ​ proven ​ ​ that ​ ​ before ​ ​ want ​ ​ their ​ ​ product. ​ ​ Investors ​ ​ will ​ ​ extract ​ ​ more ​ ​ equity to ​ entrepreneurs ​ ​ to ​ ​ compensate ​ ​ for ​ ​ the ​ ​ risk. ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ applications ​ ​ will ​ ​ not ​ ​ be ​ ​ able ​ ​ to ​ ​ afford ​ ​ ​ from ​ ​ a ​ ​ relationship ​ ​ with ​ ​ millions ​ ​ of ​ ​ consumers ​ ​ ​ ​ making ​ ​ their ​ ​ service ​ ​ freely ​ ​ available, ​ ​ and create by ​ ​ build ​ ​ a ​ ​ business ​ ​ over ​ ​ time ​ ​ as ​ ​ they ​ ​ better ​ ​ understand ​ ​ the ​ then value ​ ​ consumers ​ ​ find ​ ​ in ​ ​ their ​ service ​ (which ​ ​ is ​ ​ what ​ ​ Facebook, ​ ​ Twitter, ​ ​ Tumblr, ​ ​ Pinterest, ​ ​ Reddit, ​ ​ Dropbox ​ ​ and ​ ​ virtually ​ ​ to ​ other ​ ​ consumer ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ service ​ ​ did ​ ​ every ​ ​ achieve ​ ​ scale). ​ ​ creators ​ ​ will ​ ​ Instead, ​ ​ to ​ ​ ask ​ ​ permission ​ ​ of ​ ​ an ​ ​ investor ​ ​ or ​ ​ corporate ​ ​ hierarchy ​ ​ before ​ ​ they have can ​ ​ launch. ​ ​ Ideas ​ ​ will ​ ​ be ​ ​ vetted ​ ​ by ​ ​ committees ​ ​ and ​ ​ quirky ​ ​ passion ​ ​ projects ​ ​ will ​ ​ not ​ ​ get ​ ​ a ​ ​ chance. An ​ ​ individual ​ ​ in ​ ​ a ​ ​ dorm ​ ​ room ​ ​ or ​ ​ a ​ ​ design ​ ​ studio ​ ​ will ​ ​ not ​ ​ be ​ ​ able ​ ​ to ​ ​ experiment ​ ​ out ​ ​ loud ​ ​ on ​ ​ the ​ ​ The ​ ​ result ​ ​ will ​ ​ be ​ ​ greater ​ ​ conformity, ​ ​ fewer ​ ​ delightful ​ ​ surprises, ​ ​ and ​ ​ less ​ ​ innovation. Internet. ​ ​ investors ​ ​ like ​ ​ us ​ ​ will ​ ​ be ​ ​ wary ​ ​ of ​ ​ investing ​ ​ in ​ ​ anything ​ ​ that ​ ​ access ​ ​ providers ​ ​ might Further, ​ ​ ​ consider ​ ​ of ​ ​ their ​ ​ future ​ ​ product ​ ​ plans ​ ​ for ​ ​ fear ​ ​ they ​ ​ will ​ ​ use ​ ​ the ​ ​ same ​ ​ technical ​ infrastructure part to ​ advantage ​ ​ their ​ ​ own ​ ​ services ​ ​ or ​ ​ use ​ ​ network ​ ​ management ​ ​ as ​ ​ an ​ ​ excuse ​ ​ to ​ ​ disadvantage ​ competitive ​ ​ offerings. ​ ​ Policing ​ ​ this ​ ​ under ​ ​ the ​ ​ proposed ​ ​ rules ​ ​ and ​ ​ Title ​ ​ I ​ ​ of ​ ​ the ​ ​ Communications Act ​ ​ will ​ ​ be ​ ​ almost ​ ​ impossible, ​ ​ and ​ ​ access ​ ​ providers ​ ​ do ​ ​ not ​ ​ need ​ ​ to ​ ​ successfully ​ ​ disadvantage ​ ​ ​ competition; ​ ​ they ​ ​ just ​ ​ need ​ their ​ to ​ ​ create ​ ​ a ​ ​ credible ​ ​ threat ​ ​ so ​ ​ that ​ investors ​ ​ like ​ ​ us ​ ​ will ​ ​ be ​ ​ less inclined ​ to ​ ​ back ​ ​ ​ those ​ ​ companies. We ​ ​ need ​ ​ simple, ​ ​ strong, ​ ​ enforceable ​ ​ rules ​ ​ against ​ ​ discrimination ​ ​ and ​ ​ access ​ ​ fees, ​ ​ not ​ ​ merely against ​ ​ blocking. ​ ​ encourage ​ ​ the ​ ​ Commission ​ ​ to ​ ​ sustain ​ ​ the ​ ​ We ​ ​ strong ​ ​ net ​ ​ neutrality ​ ​ rules ​ ​ under ​ ​ Title ​ ​ II ​ ​ of existing, the ​ ​ Communications ​ ​ Act ​ ​ and ​ ​ ensure ​ ​ a ​ ​ free ​ ​ and ​ ​ open ​ ​ Internet ​ ​ that ​ ​ rewards, ​ ​ not ​ ​ disadvantages, entrepreneurship. investment ​ and ​ ​ ​ Sincerely,

22 Phin ​ ​ Barnes, ​ ​ First ​ ​ Round ​ Battelle, ​ ​ NewCo John ​ ​ ​ Trucks ​ ​ Venture ​ ​ Capital Brennan, ​ ​ Reilly Burfield, ​ ​ 1776 ​ Evan ​ ​ Bussgang, ​ ​ Flybridge ​ ​ Capital ​ ​ Partners Jeff ​ Shawn Carolan, ​ ​ Menlo ​ ​ Ventures ​ ​ ​ Conrad, ​ ​ True ​ ​ Ventures Tony ​ ​ ​ Ehrenberg, ​ ​ IA ​ ​ Ventures Roger ​ ​ Feld, ​ ​ Foundry ​ ​ Brad Group Ryan ​ Floyd, ​ ​ Storm ​ ​ Ventures ​ ​ George, ​ ​ New ​ ​ Media ​ ​ Ventures ​ Christie ​ Gilani, ​ ​ Mercury ​ ​ Fund ​ Aziz ​ ​ Girgenti, ​ ​ Pritzker ​ ​ Group ​ Chris Venture ​ ​ Capital ​ Robert ​ Go, ​ ​ NextView ​ ​ Ventures ​ ​ ​ ​ Golden, Matt ​ Golden ​ ​ Venture ​ Partners ​ Jared ​ ​ Kopf James ​ ​ Joaquin, ​ ​ Obvious ​ ​ Ventures Howard ​ ​ Lindzon, ​ ​ GP ​ ​ Social ​ ​ Leverage ​ Malik, ​ ​ True ​ ​ Ventures Om ​ ​ Mendelsohn, ​ ​ Hangar Josh ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Foundry ​ ​ Group Jason Mendelson, ​ ​ Murphy Kevin ​ ​ David Namdar, ​ ​ Galaxy ​ ​ Digital ​ ​ Nuemann, ​ ​ NeuVC Jerry ​ ​ Pakman, ​ ​ David Venrock Eric ​ Paley, ​ ​ Founder ​ ​ Collective ​ Satya ​ ​ Patel, ​ ​ Homebrew John ​ ​ Ruffolo, ​ ​ OMERS ​ ​ Ventures ​ ​ ​ Sacca, ​ ​ Lowercase ​ Chris Capital ​ Schoen, ​ Andrew ​ ​ NEA Hunter ​ Walk, ​ ​ Homebrew ​ Albert ​ ​ Wenger, ​ ​ Union ​ ​ Square ​ ​ Ventures Boris ​ Wertz, ​ ​ Version ​ ​ One ​ ​ Ventures ​ Sam ​ ​ Yagan, ​ ​ Corazon ​ ​ Capital

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