FCC Chairman Responds to Letter from Municipal Broadband ... [telecom]

FCC Chairman Pai Responds to Letter from Municipal Broadband Providers in Support of Title II Reversal

By Laura Hamilton, CED, May 12, 2017

Nineteen municipal broadband providers that support FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's plans to reverse the classification of ISPs as common carriers under Title II sent him a letter on Thursday, which Pai is calling an "exceptionally important contribution to the debate."

"These nonprofit ISPs serve small towns across America, from Bagley, Minn., to Tullahoma, Tenn. They told us that the FCC's heavy-handed rules have led them to 'often delay or hold off from rolling out a new feature or service,'" Pai says in a statement released Friday. "As a result, [their] customers lose out on having access to innovation and new capabilities."

The chairman also points out that the muni broadband providers told him in their letter the rules are so complex they have to retain attorneys and consultants to provide advice on compliance. They further suggest that Pai's proposal could cut regulatory compliance costs, and therefore they could invest more in their networks.

"The fact that ISPs lacking any profit motive agree that eliminating Title II regulation will benefit consumers and promote innovation and investment is a powerful endorsement of reversing the FCC's 2015 Title II Order," Pai concludes.

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