FCC's broadband reclassification proposal comes under fire

A chorus of the largest wireline (AT&T, Qwest and Verizon), cable (Time Warner Cable), wireless service providers and industry associations (CTIA and the NTIA) railed against the FCC's proposal to reclassify broadband services as they currently do for traditional voice services-- saying that it would be a step backwards.

The jointly written 14-page letter sent to the FCC this week is clearly another treatise against the FCC's proposed net neutrality rules for wireline and wireless networks.

In the letter, the group argued that any move to reclassify broadband from an "information service" to a "telecommunications service" would have "far-reaching and destructive consequences."

The group added the measure will prove to be nothing but a distraction from the goal of expanding the availability of broadband network services. "The proposed regulatory about-face would be untenable as a legal matter, and, at a minimum, would plunge the industry into years of litigation and regulatory chaos," the companies wrote.

It's clear that what the FCC wants to do is reassert its regulatory authority over broadband access. Interestingly, the proposal comes as a federal appeals court is examining whether the agency overstepped its authority in ordering Comcast from blocking subscribers' access to the BitTorrent file-sharing service.

At this point, the FCC, which is examining comments it received on its net neutrality proposal, is not talking about the letter.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Washington Post article
- see this The Hill article

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