With the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set to unveil a revised net neutrality proposal on Thursday, twenty-eight CEOs from America’s top broadband Internet companies today sent a letter to the agency urging Commissioners to maintain the light touch regulatory approach that has helped create millions of jobs and vastly improved consumer choice.
The signers – CEOs of broadband Internet companies such as Lowell McAdam of Verizon, Randall Stephenson of AT&T, Robert Marcus of Time Warner Cable, and Brian Roberts of Comcast – warned that reclassifying broadband into a Title II public utility would threaten new investment in broadband infrastructure and jeopardize the spread of broadband technology across America, holding back Internet speeds and ultimately deepening the digital divide.
Reclassifying broadband Internet access services as a Title II telecommunications services would make it subject to common carrier regulation, a regulatory regime that is much stricter than what is currently in place.
“Not only is it questionable that the Commission could defensibly reclassify broadband service under Title II, but also such action would greatly distort the future development of, and investment in, tomorrow’s broadband networks and services,” the CEOs said in its letter. “America’s economic future, as envisioned by President Obama and congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle, critically depends on continued investment and innovation in our broadband infrastructure and app economy to drive improvements in health care, education and energy.”
The current light regulatory touch framework has propelled the growth of broadband across America, leading to more than $1.2 trillion of investment into broadband networks. Altogether, these advances have supported nearly 11 million jobs around the country.
With this progress in mind, the CEOs further cautioned, “The U.S. experience was not a foregone conclusion. It was the result of courageous and bipartisan leadership that rejected old regulatory mandates in favor of a new, nimble paradigm of government oversight.”