Net Neutrality Rules Won't Discourage Investment, FCC Chief Says

The trade associations National Cable and Telecommunications Association, American Cable Association and CTIA-The Wireless Association filed suit on Tuesday to overturn the new net neutrality rules.

Their lawsuits join a similar one filed on Monday by industry organization US Telecom.

The organizations today repeated the main talking points they made leading up to the FCC's February vote: They say that while they are not opposed to neutrality principles, they believe that reclassifying broadband as a utility service -- regulated under Title II of the Telecommunications Act -- will discourage carriers from investing in networks while also creating uncertainty in the market.

"CTIA and the wireless industry have always supported an open Internet, which is why these rules will only chill investment and innovation and increase costs for consumers,” CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker, a former FCC Commissioner, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Former FCC head Michael Powell, who currently helms the NCTA, added that the group's challenge is “not about net neutrality but the FCC’s unnecessary action to apply outdated utility style regulation to the most innovative network in our history.”

In February, the FCC voted 3-2 to reclassify broadband as a utility service and imposes some common carrier rules on providers. The rules prohibit providers from blocking or throttling service and from charging content companies higher fees for faster delivery. The net neutrality order also broadly prohibits providers from hindering Web users and content companies from connecting with each other online -- though the scope of that prohibition remains uncertain.

Meanwhile, current FCC chief Tom Wheeler is doing his best to debunk claims that the rules will prevent investment.

In a speech delivered today in Austin, Wheeler pointed out that wireline DSL service was regulated as a utility between the late 1990s and 2005. “Interestingly in this period, under the old heavy-touch approach to Title II, our nation saw the highest levels of broadband infrastructure investment ever,” he said, according to a prepared version of his remarks.

Wheeler added that Internet service providers including Sprint and Google Fiber “say they can build their businesses within our rules,” while Comcast, AT&T and Verizon -- who vocally opposed the reclassification -- “continued to invest in their networks even knowing the rule was coming.”

1 comment about "Net Neutrality Rules Won't Discourage Investment, FCC Chief Says".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. larry towers from nyu, April 14, 2015 at 6:11 p.m.

    What people absolutely need to realize is that the big network providers fight AGAINSt net neitrality ws essentially because they DIDN"T WANT TO INNOVATE. They were essentially trying to monetize by erecting tollbooths upon existing structures i.e. Charging content providers in addition to consumers. Now they'll HAVE to innovate by building faster better infrastructure in order to justify higher prices for increased bandwidth. That's the way it should work.

Next story loading loading..