Clyburn shows support for Title II net neutrality

FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn thinks that FCC chairman Julius Genachowski's proposed reclassification of broadband under Title II of the Communications Act is the right direction for net neutrality.

Speaking during the Media Institute luncheon, Clyburn said that Genachowski's proposal, which came on the heels of the FCC losing a court battle with Comcast over network management, is "the most efficient and least burdensome way to expeditiously address some of the most pressing challenges in the telecommunications sector today."

Clyburn's speech emerged after Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Me.) cited concerns about the proposal to a letter sent to Genachowski. Snowe argues that the FCC's reclassification proposal would actually create an air of regulatory uncertainty because the plan to forbear Title II common regulations (price controls and unbundling). This regulatory uncertainty could "hamper or delay" broadband providers to expand their respective last mile networks to more consumers and businesses.

"While your proposal is well intended, it has significant drawbacks," Snowe said in a Wireless Week article. "Title II includes numerous prescriptive regulatory obligations--close to 50 different sections--many of which were established in 1934 and do not properly capture technological advancements. While the statute allows the FCC to forbear from enforcing certain provisions, the action's tactical nature presents a notable level of uncertainty that could hamper or delay investment in much-needed broadband infrastructure."

However, Clyburn pointed out that the FCC has yet to overturn a forbearance decision since Congress gave the FCC forbearance authority 17 years ago.

For more:
- CED has this article
- Broadcasting and Cable has Sen. Snowe's perspective

Related articles:
FCC lays out net neutrality course
FCC goings on: Title II comments on June agenda
Bad news for service providers: FCC now favors net neutrality
FCC's Genachowski charts way forward on net neutrality