Sunday, September 20, 2009

CTIA Expresses Concern over FCC's Network Neutrality Proposal

CTIA - The Wireless Association -- expressed its concern that new Internet regulations could have the unintended consequence of stifling competition in broadband wireless communications.

Chris Guttman-McCabe, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for CTIA, stated "as a justification for the adoption of rules, the Chairman suggested that one reason for concern ‘has to do with limited competition among service providers.' This is at the core of our concerns. Unlike the other platforms that would be subject to the rules, the wireless industry is extremely competitive, extremely innovative, and extremely personal. How do the rules apply to the single-purpose Amazon Kindle? How does it apply to Google's efforts to cache content to provide a better consumer experience? How about the efforts from Apple and Android, Blackberry and Nokia, Firefly and others to differentiate the products and services they develop for consumers? Should all product and service offerings be the same?"

"Regarding spectrum investment, the Commission need only look at the results of the 700 MHz auction to understand the impact on investment. The C Block rules, which included an open requirement, had only two bidders, and sold for significantly less. The other licenses, which sold for significantly more, were sold with the promise that the spectrum would not be subject to the open rules. Now the Commission is considering changing the rules after the auction -- impacting companies' confidence in the auction process -- just as carriers are facing a brewing spectrum crisis."