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This paper provides a brief examination of the FCC's contributions to the rapid expansion and success of the Internet. The Commission does not, and should not, take credit for the success of the Internet beyond the role it has played in providing fertile ground for the growth and development of data networks over the nation's communications infrastructure.
This paper highlights the distinction drawn by the FCC between the unregulated Internet and the regulated telecommunications network, a crucial decision that helped foster the dramatic expansion of computer applications offered over telephone lines.
Finally, it briefly examines convergence issues that raise new questions about the proper role of the FCC in the Internet age and the fundamental lessons the FCC has learned in the last three decades, with the goal of sparking a dialogue on how such issues should be addressed.