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ECIPE Takes Aim at Title II Treaty Argument

The European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) has taken aim at the suggestion that if the FCC does not impose strong network-neutrality rules, including a ban on paid prioritization, it will run afoul of international commitments.

Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, director of the ECIPE, said the suggestion that the World Trade Organization's Basic Agreement on Telecommunications Services (BATS) requires such rules is off base.

In a December 2014 filing at the FCC back in December, a pair of George Washington University professors argued that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's original proposal of new Open Internet rules based in Sec. 706 authority and allowing for commercially reasonable discrimination (paid prioritization) would have run afoul of the U.S.'s WTO obligation to "respect principles of nondiscrimination and free expression" and was bound by the BATS agreement, among others.

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