[audio-pals] Re: FCC Net Neutrality Vote Draws Swift Response

  • From: "Josh" <lawdog911@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <audio-pals@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 19 May 2014 01:59:25 -0700

What do you think about it?

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[mailto:audio-pals-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ray T. Mahorney
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Subject: [audio-pals] FCC Net Neutrality Vote Draws Swift Response

Net Neutrality Vote Draws Swift Response Cable Ops Say They Will Work With
FCC, But Title II Should Not Be Considered

5/15/2014 12:30 PM Eastern

By: John Eggerton
Multichannel News

http://multichannel.com/news/technology/net-neutrality-vote-draws-swift-resp
onse/374589

TakeAway: The cable industry is okay with the FCC using Sec. 706 authority,
but rallied against a Title II reclassification of broadband




FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler talked tough about not allowing fast and slow lanes
on the net Thursday. That appeared to mitigate a bit of the pushback from
Open Internet advocates, but not all. The rules that passed 3-2 (Rosenworcel
concurring) would be based on Sec. 706 authority, which pleases ISPs, but
Wheeler said Title II was still very much on the table, which does not make
them happy, and gives at least some comfort to some critics of 706.

Response to the FCC vote was swift and varied, with cable operators
promoting a balanced approach that did not stray into common carriage.

Comcast was OK with the 706 direction, but Title II is a no-go.

"We remain confident that the Commission will continue to appropriately
balance its strong commitment to consumer protection with the need to allow
network operators to manage their networks reasonably and to continue to
encourage private investment in our nation's broadband infrastructure,"
blogged David Cohen. But, he added: "As strongly as we believe in the
propriety of legally enforceable open Internet rules, however, we have an
equally strong belief that any proposal to reclassify broadband Internet
access as a telecommunications service subject to Title II of the
Communications Act would spark massive instability, create investor and
marketplace uncertainty, derail planned investments, slow broadband
adoption, and kill jobs in America."

National Cable & Telecommunications Association President Michael Powell
echoed that.

"The cable industry remains fully committed to giving American consumers the
open Internet experience they expect and deserve. Maintaining an open
Internet is not only the right thing to do, it's vital to our ability to
attract and keep our customers. Nevertheless, we stand ready to work
constructively with the FCC and other stakeholders - as we did in 2010 - to
develop a balanced approach that protects the open Internet while fostering
continued investment and innovation in America's broadband networks," said
Powell in a statement. "But as we do so, we will continue to reiterate our
unwavering opposition to any proposals that attempt to reclassify broadband
services under the heavy-handed regulatory yoke of Title II. Treating
broadband as a utility-like Title II service would reverse years of settled
precedent, dry up investment in broadband deployment and network upgrades,
and result in protracted litigation and marketplace uncertainty."

Ditto Verizon: Verizon said it would review the new rule proposal, but
warned against switching gears to Title II. "[O]ne thing is clear. For the
FCC to impose 1930s utility regulation on the Internet would lead to years
of legal and regulatory uncertainty and would jeopardize investment and
innovation in broadband," the company said.

Former FCC chairman Michael Copps and now an advisor to Common Cause, a big
fan of Title II, was apparently not assuaged by Wheeler's promises that he
would allow no fast and slow lanes. "This is an alarming day for anyone who
treasures a free and open Internet - which should be all of us. The FCC
could have moved decisively to guarantee that the Internet remains an open
platform for free expression and the exchange of democracy-sustaining
communications. Instead, the Commission again left broadband users without
the protections they deserve."

Public Knowledge was also relatively unmoved, though it recognized the FCC
for asking some key questions and chalked that up to the protests over his
initial draft.

"After extensive public outcry, the FCC is asking questions about the
fundamental legitimacy of fast lanes and exploring the viability of Title
II," said Public Knowledge VP Michael Weinberg. "This shift simply would not
have occurred without the outpouring of concern from organizations,
companies, Members of Congress, and individuals who rely on a truly open
internet every day.

"We are convinced that the net neutrality pathway the FCC is exploring
remains insufficient to guarantee a truly open and neutral internet. The
FCC's proposal still falls well short of real net neutrality rules. It would
create a two-tier internet where "commercially reasonable" 
discrimination is allowed on any connections that exceed an unknown "minimum
level of access" defined by the FCC." 

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