WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Background: Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to impose utility-style regulation on the Internet, and to preempt two state laws laying out terms for operation of municipal broadband networks.
The following statements are from USTelecom President Walter McCormick:
On Title II regulation…
“Today’s action by the FCC is the wrong path for achieving broadband deployment in all parts of the United States. It redefines the Internet, inserts the federal government deeply into its management, and invites other countries to do the same. In reversing longstanding bipartisan precedent, and imposing public utility regulation on the most dynamic sector of our nation’s economy, the FCC is adopting policies that were not designed – nor ever intended – for the Internet. History has shown that common carrier regulation slows innovation, chills investment, and leads to increased costs on consumers. What is remarkable is that the commission’s overreach is so unnecessary. Broadband service providers are operating in complete conformance with the open Internet standards advanced by the president, we agree with the standards, we support their adoption in regulation by the FCC under Section 706, and we support their enactment into law. We will now turn to the courts for review, and given the broad consensus that exists on the underlying objectives, will look forward to working with the Congress on a bipartisan basis to advance legislation.”
On state broadband legislation…
“We share the commission’s interest in accelerating broadband deployment to unserved Americans. However, today’s action to preempt the judgment of elected state legislatures on the best approach to having their local municipalities deliver broadband services is a distraction from the hard work of improving the regulatory climate for all broadband providers to invest in new and improved infrastructure, and serves little purpose given the likelihood that it will be overturned by the courts. The FCC could best facilitate further investment and competition in broadband services by focusing its efforts on removing the regulatory hurdles to a smooth transition to IP networks, fully implementing Phase II of the Connect America Fund, updating the rural Universal Service Fund for broadband, and taking additional steps to lower the costs of access to local rights-of-way and pole attachments that can make up 20 percent of the cost of deploying fiber.”
USTelecom is the nation’s premier trade association representing service providers and suppliers for the telecom industry. Its diverse member base ranges from large publicly traded communications corporations to small companies and cooperatives – all providing advanced communications services to both urban and rural markets.