Today was a long-awaited day in the telecom circles as the United States Court of Appeals upheld the FCC’s net neutrality decision.
NTCA has serious concerns about some of the ways in which the FCC has sought to expand and apply certain Title II regulations to broadband. Our hope is always that policies find a way to actually provide logical incentives and paths forward.
At the same time, NTCA has also stressed the need for common sense rules of the road to govern how various entities interact in the broadband marketplace. In particular, we have noted that a stable, light-touch regulatory framework can prove useful in providing certainty—obviously key to the RLEC world—provided that any rules adopted are properly calibrated and applied.
Even as today’s court decision may uphold the commission’s authority to subject broadband to a Title II framework, we urge the FCC to avoid regulatory over-reach in the decision’s wake and to focus instead on how to best adapt existing rules in a thoughtful, limited, clear-cut way as necessary specifically to promote certainty and serve core statutory principles such as universal service and consumer protection. Along those lines, NTCA encourages the commission to use this decision as a springboard for a closer look at interconnection arrangements, which the court noted are a telecommunications service. As NTCA has long highlighted, these arrangements are two-way in nature and reciprocal rules of the road are essential to ensure that all consumers—especially those in rural areas of our country—can obtain and enjoy the full benefits of broadband.