Verizon supports net neutrality principles, but says policies should encourage network investment

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) touted its support for parts of the FCC's net neutrality rules, saying in a blog post that it is behind the regulator's policies on prohibiting service providers from throttling specific kinds of content and from charging content partners for faster delivery of their products and services to consumers.

This post comes as the D.C. Circuit court of appeals gets set to rule on the challenge to the FCC's decision to reclassify broadband services as Title II or common carrier services.

In addition, Verizon said it supports the creation of a "general conduct standard" that would prevent unreasonable conduct by broadband providers "where there is actual harm to consumers or to competition."

However, Craig Silliman, general counsel and executive VP for public policy for Verizon, said in a blog post that it is "important that policymakers both catalyze innovation in over-the-top services and encourage investment in networks that serve as their platform."

The service provider noted how it has made several key investments to enhance the consumer experiences such as its $4.4 billion deal to acquire AOL, giving it rights to content through properties like the Huffington Post, MapQuest, and TechCrunch.

"We have an expanding presence in the digital media and entertainment space; Verizon Digital Media Services helps content companies deliver their services in digital form to any screen or device, anywhere in the world," Silliman said.

Earlier this month the FCC proposed new privacy rules for wireline and wireless broadband providers. Silliman said such uncertainty will only increase unless Congress intervenes with legislation that clarifies the FCC's views.

"In the past we have criticized the FCC for applying outdated rules to the fast-moving Internet ecosystem," Silliman said. "We still think that's true, but let's be fair: Congress hasn't updated the FCC's toolbox for over 20 years, so the FCC is working with the only tools it has, however inadequate. Congress can give the FCC the tools it needs to do this properly and on a legally sustainable basis. It should do so."

For more:
- see Verizon's blog post
- Multichannel News has this article

Related articles:
FCC privacy proposal draws fire from telcos, industry groups
FCC's Wheeler aims to update Title II for new net neutrality rules
FCC to strengthen oversight of ISP interconnection deals
AT&T, Verizon challenge FCC's authority on net neutrality
Verizon says net neutrality should not touch interconnection arrangements

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