The following may be attributed to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs:
“AT&T is committed to an Open Internet. We supported the Commission’s 2005 Open Internet Policy Statement, as well as the Commission’s 2010 Open Internet Rules which codified that policy. Our network management practices are designed to comply with those rules. Those practices are described on our website today, in accordance with FCC rules that were not vacated by the DC Circuit, and are still today fully enforceable by the FCC. In short, broadband customers throughout the United States have access to AT&T’s open broadband networks which comply fully with Open Internet principles that have been in place for almost a decade.
“The framework adopted by the Commission in 2010 achieved a delicate balance that ensures openness, while maintaining a stable environment for investment. As a result, infrastructure providers have invested hundreds of billions of dollars to provide American consumers with the most robust wireline and wireless broadband networks in the world.
“This debate has been falsely labeled as a debate over fast lanes and slow lanes. It is not about that at all. This debate is over whether we will continue to foster an investment environment that has allowed US companies to build the world’s best networks so that all consumers can have the fastest Internet lanes in the world.
“Going backwards 80 years to the world of utility regulation would represent a tragic step in the wrong direction. Utility regulation would strangle investment, hobble innovation, and put government regulators in charge of nearly every aspect of Internet-based services. It would deprive America of the world’s most robust broadband infrastructure, and place a cloud over every application or website that delivers products and content to consumers. In short, it would place government in control of the Internet at the expense of private companies, inventors and entrepreneurs, and ultimately at the expense of the American people.
“Such an approach would also send an alarming message to the rest of the world—a message that says the United States believes it is appropriate for governments to place onerous regulations on the Internet. This could encourage other countries to pursue their own goals, whether to suppress ‘dangerous’ speech or extract economic value from American Internet and content companies.
“AT&T will participate constructively in the upcoming proceeding. It is our hope that we can once again find an appropriate balance that preserves an Open Internet while ensuring American consumers will continue to have access to the world’s most robust broadband infrastructure.”