Verizon tells Congress to rein in FCC’s power over Internet providers

30 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chairman Wheeler Predicts FCC Will Beat Legal Challenge To Net Neutrality.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler (L) and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai visit before testifying to the House Judiciary Committee about Internet regulation in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill March 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. Not everyone is happy with the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to reclassify broadband Internet service as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934; an 81-year-old law intended to regulate the telecommunications sector.

FCC is facing charges from broadband providers over its new net neutrality regulations The net neutrality or the open internet gives FCC authority to prevent Internet Service Providers or ISP from blocking or degrading the speed of internet, and making paid agreements with internet content companies for fast lanes, a practice called “paid prioritization.” The FCC was sued separately last week by several broadband internet companies. At the end of a speech given Friday, March 27, at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law, Wheeler told the crowd the FCC’s new rules would be upheld by the courts. US Telecom – a trade group counting AT&T Inc. among its members – Alamo Broadband and Verizon Communications Inc., all filed suits last week asking federal judges to cancel FCC new set of rules.

He went on to say that “the big winners will be America’s consumers and innovators and our economy as a whole,” according to a text of the speech made available by the FCC. “We will finally have strong, enforceable rules that assure that Internet remains open now, and into the future.” Wheeler appeared before five different Congressional hearings over the past two weeks. McAdam’s letter also objected to rules that let Dish use discounts intended for small businesses to save $3.3 billion in an auction for wireless spectrum licenses. And I’m proud that the Commission has made the right choice, adopting strong, sustainable, and sensible open Internet protections.” The latter was filed in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a court that a Reuters report noted has already rejected FCC net neutrality proposals twice. Entitled ‘Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet,’ which will take effect 2 months after its publication in the Federal Register, FCC would not allow big corporations or highly funded services to obtain advantages over other smaller companies and their products.

The DC Circuit sent the previous Open Internet Order back to us and basically said, “You’re trying to impose common carrier-like regulation without stepping up and saying, ‘these are common carriers.’” We have addressed that issue, which is the underlying issue in all of the debates we’ve had so far. Attend Interop Las Vegas, the leading independent technology conference and expo series designed to inspire, inform, and connect the world’s IT community. That gives me great confidence going forward that we will prevail.” The FCC’s net neutrality rules ensure that ISPs can’t throttle or block legal content, nor can they offer paid prioritization for so-called Internet fast lanes. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., expressed concern that Republicans were turning the rules “into another wedge issue to attack the president.” Before that hearing, Wheeler had appeared at three other House hearings and a Senate Commerce oversight hearing in the previous two weeks.

That’s “too long,” McAdam wrote. “In that time, technology and markets have gone through several cycles, while law and policy have stood still,” he wrote. A telecom trade organization which represents wireless carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and others, and a Texas broadband provider named Alamo, have filed petitions asking courts to set aside the rules because they say the FCC had acted beyond its authority.

Those opposed to the way things went down claim they support the same measures, but not by reclassifying the Internet under an Act that’s eight decades old, which they say gives the government too much power and will ultimately stifle innovation. “And that is what we have done, constructing Title II for the 21st Century built on the strong foundation laid by the treatment of wireless voice,” Wheeler added. “I was there when Title II was sought by the wireless industry. He referenced the experience in his speech, thanking officials for asking him to appear there. “It’s great to be here, and I’m not just saying that because I spent five of the previous eight weekdays testifying before Congress,” Wheeler said. But at the same time, Wheeler echoes one of his top lawyers, Gigi Sohn, who first extolled the use of Title II in the agency’s plan, among other legal tools, in an interview with TechCrunch: We like to say it’s the belt, the belt and the suspenders.

Wheeler plans to impose bidding restrictions on the next major spectrum auction to help smaller carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint boost their networks. Wheeler also underlined the importance of the new rules, and compared two scenarios — first with guidance of the Title II, and the other with policies that only “advances the interests of a few powerful companies.” “The choice is clear.

It is still unclear whether the court challenges will be heard, but both filings include statements that their challenges may be premature since the rules have not yet been printed in the government’s register. Ξ

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