Verizon's McAdam: Lawmakers need to set new public communications policies

Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam has told leaders of the House and Senate Commerce committees that Republicans and Democrats need to join together to revamp what he says are "outdated and broken" telecom laws and regulatory processes.

"It is time for Congress to assert its longstanding role of setting, in a bipartisan fashion, public policies for the communications sector that both protect consumers and provide incentives for investment and innovation in new products and services," McAdam wrote in a letter.

One of the first orders of business that McAdam has called for is to jointly develop new legislation that would replace the FCC's new net neutrality rules, which reclassify ISPs as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act. In an earlier filing, Verizon said the FCC already addresses issues like throttling and paid prioritization without implementing Title II.

"The FCC claimed it was addressing concerns about the open Internet, something that Congress could—and can—address with clarity in a two-page bipartisan bill," wrote McAdam. "Instead, the FCC went far beyond open Internet rules, engaging in a radical and risky experiment to change the very policy that resulted in the United States leading the world in the Internet economy."

Before the FCC voted along party lines to pass the net neutrality rules in February, a group of Republican members of Congress reportedly proposed another method for the FCC to regulate broadband providers by developing what is called "Title X," a special element of the Communications Act.

Besides overturning the FCC's new rules, McAdam said that lawmakers should replace the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Although lawmakers see that as a key issue for 2015, the furor over net neutrality has kept it from addressing that issue yet.

During the nearly 20 years since the Telecom Act was passed, "technology and markets have gone through several cycles, while law and policy have stood still," McAdam wrote.

For more:
- The Hill has this article
- see McAdam's letter

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