Background – The FCC has announced that it will address proposed rules to preserve the open Internet at its December 21st Open Meeting. The following statement may be attributed to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External & Legislative Affairs:
“The prospect of net neutrality regulation has lingered as a very real threat to industry investment and jobs for several years. Obviously, AT&T’s strong preference would be for the FCC to refrain from any regulation in the Internet space. We feel the industry’s track record, the utter absence of any specific ongoing problem, and the state of the economy all argue for regulatory restraint. We also believe, based on jurisdictional concerns, that the issue should rightly be deferred to the Congress, a view also expressed by a bipartisan majority of that body. Nonetheless, we recognize that the FCC has decided to move ahead.
“We understand that the FCC Chairman has prepared a compromise proposal aimed at bridging the differences that have long polarized this debate. Based on our understandings, this measure would avoid onerous Title II regulation; would be narrowly drawn along the lines of a compromise we have endorsed previously; would reject limits on our ability to properly manage our network and efficiently utilize our wireless spectrum; would recognize the capabilities and limitations of different broadband technologies; would ensure specialized services are protected against intrusive regulation; and would provide for a case-by-case resolution of complaints that also encourages non-governmental dispute settlement.
“While any final statement of position by AT&T must await a careful reading of the actual order and rules when issued, we are pleased that the FCC appears to be embracing a compromise solution that is sensitive to the dynamics of investment in a difficult economy and appears to avoid over-regulation. We are also mindful of, and grateful for, the impact Congressional views have had in this process. Such an approach would reduce regulatory uncertainty, and should encourage investment and innovation in next generation broadband services and technologies. In that regard, we remain committed to working with the FCC to bring the benefits of broadband to all Americans.”