Please attribute the following to Frank Simone, AT&T Vice President of Federal Regulatory:
“In the National Broadband Plan, the Commission clearly recognized the critical need to modernize our country’s communications system, and carriers have invested billions of dollars to make this happen. The ongoing transition from a circuit-switched network to an IP-based platform – over which voice, data and video services converge – has created extraordinary opportunities for consumers. The order adopted today threatens to stifle this transition by erecting new regulatory obstacles that serve to benefit not consumers, investment or competition but rather select companies.
“The FCC cannot call on the industry to invest in more fiber deployment, raise the bar for what qualifies as a broadband service and then make it more difficult to retire services that do not even qualify as broadband. We share the Commission’s goal to protect consumers as this revolutionary technological movement continues. But requiring carriers to prolong the use of and maintain an outdated infrastructure is not the way to go about doing that.”