Must read Broadband industry letter to FCC: Title II reclassification would do incalcuable harm

February 22, 2010

In one of the best, most strongly-worded and serious letters to the FCC that I have read in my 18 years following FCC issues closely, the united broadband industry’s letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski is simply a must-read; it explains why the FCC’s serious interest in reclassifying unregulated broadband information services as regulated telecom services is among the worst and most destructive ideas the FCC has ever seriously considered.

The letter characterized Title II reclassification as:

  • “a radical new direction,”
  • “regulating the Internet,”
  • “a profound mistake,”
  • “betraying decades of bipartisan support for keeping the Internet unregulated,”
  • “misguided regulatory overreach,” and a
  • “Pandora’s Box.”

A particularly strong summary statement was:

  • It is difficult to imagine a proposal more at odds with the Commission’s historical committment to keeping the Internet unregulated, to our national prospects for economic recovery, and to your own committment to “common sense” solutions and to “private enterprise, the indispensible engine of economic growth.”

The letter also copiously documents why the FCC has no basis, evidentiary record or authority to reclassify broadband as Title II common carriers and explains how such a reclassification would endanger the entire Internet ecosystem with harm and uncertainty where “no issue would ever be settled.”

In a nutshell, the letter strongly communicates that rather than a wise “do no harm” policy in a fragile economy dependent on the broadband sector for stability and growth, the FCC is nonsensically considering a policy which would do the exact opposite — do the most harm to the most people in the most places in the most ways.

 

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