Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Industry Reaction to Genachowski's Third-Way

In Favor


FCC Commissioner Copps: "Frankly, I would have preferred plain and simple Title II reclassification through a
declaratory ruling and limited, targeted forbearance--wiping the slate clean of all question marks. The quicker we can bring some sense of surety and stability to the present confusion emanating from the Comcast court decision, the better off consumers--and industry, too--will be.


"But we should welcome this step toward bringing broadband back under the Title II framework where it belongs. It was a travesty to move it in the first place, and those decisions caused consumers, small businesses and the country enormous competitive disadvantage."


The Rural Telecommunications Group (RTG) , a trade association representing small, rural wireless carriers: "The 'third way' approach described by Chairman Genachowski, which would subject Internet access services to Title II regulation subject to substantial forbearance, will level the regulatory playing field by subjecting broadband service providers to a similar regulatory scheme as commercial wireless carriers. Caressa Bennet, RTG's General Counsel, stated, "The Third Way is technology neutral, creates a level playing field and will protect rural broadband consumers. The Commission's approach will utilize the same regulatory scheme as currently applied to wireless carriers, a regulatory scheme that has allowed mobile services to flourish as never before, to the benefit of the entire U.S. economy. Forbearance from all Title II regulation but Sections 201, 202, 208, 222, 254 and 255 will give broadband providers the regulatory certainty they need to develop long terms plans without hindering them with unnecessary regulatory constraints."


Against


FCC Commissioners' McDowell and Baker: "Today the Commission embarks on a journey to cross a regulatory Rubicon by classifying Internet access service as traditional telephone service under Title II of the Communications Act. This proposal is disappointing and deeply concerns us. It is neither a light-touch approach nor a third way. Instead, it is a stark departure from the long-established bipartisan framework for addressing broadband regulation that has led to billions in investment and untold consumer opportunities. It also poses serious ramifications across the globe.


After several government investigations, no evidence of systemic failure in the broadband market has been presented to justify this new, more onerous regulatory regime. Additionally, without a specific mandate from Congress, the appellate courts are likely to hand the Commission another stinging rebuke for attempting to shatter the boundaries of its statutory authority. This proposal risks the credibility of our institution: Government agencies simply cannot create new legal powers beyond those granted by Congress."


USTelecom: "This is a deeply disturbing development. In proposing to apply 19th Century-style monopoly regulation to the competitive 21st Century Internet, the FCC has put a cloud of uncertainty over the most dynamic sector of the economy -- an area of robust job creation, thriving innovation, and extraordinary levels of consumer satisfaction. In doing so, the Commission is acting in a way that would seem to be fundamentally at odds with its own stated interest in promoting broadband deployment and adoption, encouraging expanded consumer choice through increased investment in facilities-based broadband networks, and encouraging jobs and economic growth.


"We welcome the Chairman's invitation to explore constructive ideas, and will work with him and the Commission to assure that consumers continue to enjoy the Internet freedoms they have today. But the notion of a 'third way' implies a compromise, which this is not. The Chairman's proposal goes far beyond the authority granted to the FCC by Congress. We believe it would be a mistake of historic proportions to abandon the longstanding bipartisan policy to keep the rapidly-evolving Internet free of growth-inhibiting government regulation."


TIA: "TIA's member companies have historically been negatively affected by application of many of the Title II requirements and, after years of deregulation, we would greatly regret to see the trend reverse, especially in these times of economic distress."


CTIA: "While we are disappointed with the Title II net neutrality announcement today, CTIA will continue to work to educate policymakers, including the FCC, on why net neutrality rules should not apply to wireless. This is an incredibly innovative and competitive industry that provides millions of jobs and contributes billions of dollars to our economy and is the world's leader in the provision of mobile broadband service. This complex, interdependent ecosystem is currently thriving to the benefit for all Americans. Putting that success at risk is unnecessary and dangerous, particularly in today's economic environment."


Verizon: "In enacting the 1996 Telecommunications Act, Congress intentionally excluded Internet services, like broadband Internet access, from the scope of Title II's regulatory burdens. Those regulations were designed for different services delivered by different networks in different times.


"We believe that the chairman's stated approach is legally unsupported. The regulatory and judicial proceedings that will ensue can only bring confusion and delay to the important work of continuing to build the nation's broadband future."


Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW): "The FCC is utterly misguided if it believes that it is serving taxpayers and consumers by attempting to impose burdensome and unwarranted regulations on a constantly-changing, rapidly-growing, profitable industry such as the Internet."


U.S. Chamber of Commerce: "Given these turbulent economic times and the enormous cost of building out broadband infrastructure, the United States cannot afford policies that create regulatory uncertainty and hinder private-sector investment in this critical technology. Imposing these new requirements on broadband providers is counter to the intent of Congress and would unravel more than a decade of policies that have allowed the Internet to flourish."http://www.fcc.gov

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