Amidst the flurry of blogs and op-eds on net neutrality, Title II and broadband reclassification that cross my desk on a daily basis, it was a welcome and refreshing change to read Paul Misener’s piece that ran in CNET last week.

Although I don’t agree with everything the vice president for global public policy at had to say (what do you mean network operators haven’t deployed innovative new services?), Paul does lay out a fair airing of the issues to help reach what some people think is an elusive middle ground.

I was particularly pleased to read Paul’s clear recognition that certain quality-of-service/network management practices by ISPs are not only necessary but in the best interest of consumers.  I couldn’t agree more.

Paul also correctly notes that net neutrality violations have been extremely rare, both before and after the now infamous Comcast court proceeding.  The end-of-the-world scenarios that some groups have used as scare tactics to push their agenda have never come to fruition.

I don’t agree, however, with Paul’s assessment that this is because threats of legislation and regulation have kept network operators “on their best behavior.”  AT&T has long committed to preserving a fair and open Internet, and to working hard with all stakeholders to reach some kind of consensus.  In fact, last December, building off of others’ thoughts and proposals, I outlined what I believe is a path forward to reaching a middle ground.

Paul’s piece is thoughtful and insightful, and a step in the right direction.  I hope more stakeholders take the time to read it and, perhaps, make similar efforts to find a “win-win-win” solution.  Between the meetings on the Hill and the meetings at the FCC (which include a broad group of industry players, such as AT&T, Amazon, and OIC), I like to think that it’s possible.

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