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Internet pioneer petitions FCC for stay of open internet order

Internet pioneer Daniel Berninger filed the first petition with the FCC asking the commission to stay its open Internet order.

Berninger, the founder of VCXC, a non-profit organization working to speed the transition to all-IP networks and HD voice, has been leading a group of other like-minded Internet elders—Marc Cuban, an original streaming media innovator; Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet; Ray Ozzie, founder of Lotus Notes; Jeff Pulver, co-founder of Vonage; Michael Robertson, CEO of MP3.com; and John Perry Barlow, founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead,— in opposing the FCC’s order.

In the order, Berninger said that he does not hear from the FCC by May 11, he will file a stay with the D.C. circuit, as first reported in KatyontheHill.

In the petition, Berninger alleges that the order threatens his livelihood as an entrepreneur and would quash investment in his projects to develop IP services and HD voice. Under the order, new IP services and HD voice would be regulated under Title II, which prohibits prioritization, but prioritization is the very tool Berninger uses to minimize the impact of network congestion.

“Petitioner has spent decades of time and effort in accumulating technical expertise about communications services that rely exclusively upon IP addresses and make no use of the PSTN [public switched telephone network] and in deploying such services under the reasonable expectation that they would not be regulated by the commission. However, because the Order sweeps these services into the Commission’s regulatory orbit, Petitioner is unable to continue in his chosen profession designing, developing, and profiting from unregulated IP communications services. If the Order takes effect, Petitioner will have no choice but to abandon his investments in IP communications services and devote his time and resources to another sector of the economy, which qualifies as irreparable harm sufficient to warrant a stay,” wrote Richard Wiley, Bennett Ross and Brett Shumate of Wiley Rein.

Although Berninger is the first to file a petition with the FCC to stay the open internet order, he joins a growing list of half a dozen others that have filed suit against the FCC order including groups like the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, CTIA-The Wireless Association, and AT&T.

The group will convene in D.C. Thursday, April 30 to meet in person with members of Congress and their staff.