The Not So Elusive Middle Ground

Posted by: Jim Cicconi on July 27, 2010 at 2:11 pm

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.

Comments (2)

Once again big business takes over something that was not for the business to control. The FCC does not have the right to inter-fear
with a public given and a public use communication system. They nor the Goverment
system created it. So keep your hands off.
this includes At&t,comcast and all other broadband communications companys. All we will get is more taxes and higher bills and poor services. More control and less services.

Larry Myers

larry myers July 29, 2010 at 10:29 am


AT&T already facilitates the mentality which we are trying to prevent. AT&T paid premium dollar to exclusively sell the iPhone, such they can reep profits.

You think AT&T won’t throttle the internet to boost their quarterly profits? Yeah right, that is all companies do… quarterly, quarterly, quarterly! You don’t give two cents about the public.

Jay Wallace August 5, 2010 at 7:21 pm

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