It's official: the FCC intends to reclassify broadband [telecom]

By Brian Santo, CEDmagazine, 02/04/2015

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today said explicitly what the FCC has been rumored to be intending for months: the FCC will propose reclassifying broadband under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act.

The FCC intends to vote on the plan during its public meeting on February 26.

He plans to raise network neutrality principles from general tenets to explicit rules.

"These enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services," Wheeler said in a statement.

Furthermore, the rules will explicitly include mobile broadband for the first time, he said.

The industry is steadfast against any regulation. Service providers threatened that investment in networks would dry up, or that innovation would cease, or both. They claimed that the FCC would start regulating prices. They claimed that old laws shouldn't apply because they're old.

They have been repeating themselves over as if repetition would make it so. They conscripted their vendors to echo them.

Service providers failed to provide any explanation of why investment would cease, or why innovation would lag.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson made diminishing network investment sound less like function of economics than a retaliatory option when, during his third quarter call with analysts, he threatened AT&T would stop investing in its networks if the FCC tried to reclassify broadband. During his fourth quarter call, he pulled back from the implicit threat, saying instead that if broadband were reclassified, AT&T would have to re-evaluate its investment strategy.

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Neal McLain

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Neal McLain
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