“NCTA has consistently taken the view that broadband services should be regulated with a light touch under Title I of the Communications Act and not as common carrier services under Title II. Similarly, we have stressed that net neutrality regulation is unnecessary in light of the competitive marketplace, the absence of conduct that was harmful to consumers or competition, and the very real risk that regulation would undermine one of the great success stories in America -- rapid growth in the development of broadband networks that are changing the way we live and allowing consumers to enjoy an amazing array of applications, content and services.
“Nonetheless, with bipartisan encouragement, we made clear we would participate in negotiations, constructively and in good faith, with the goal of providing greater certainty through a framework that would preserve the openness of the Internet while protecting the ability of all actors in the ecosystem to invest and innovate to the benefit of consumers. Those negotiations over the last six months have not been easy, but they produced a rough consensus on a number of points, which we believe are reflected in the order circulated today.
“First, and perhaps most important, the order circulated today is grounded within the framework of Title I. We further understand that the rules proposed basically codify a code of conduct and commitments made by our industry five years ago; add a discrimination principle based on a “reasonableness” standard; and add a transparency rule that we believe can be helpful in aiding customer choice. We further understand that the rules do not preclude or inhibit our ability to innovate and deploy new and specialized services. Importantly, they appear to reflect Chairman Genachowski’s previously stated position that such rules will not and should not result in price regulation and to recognize the value of flexible business models such as usage based pricing.
“We recognize that this item will now be considered by the FCC as a whole. While not perfect from our point of view and in the absence of further action by Congress, we believe that it is a fair resolution of this set of issues and that it is proposed in a way that achieves our essential and shared objectives: preserving the openness of the Internet and the incentives to invest and innovate for the benefit of consumers. Should the order change in any material way from our understanding, we reserve our rights to vigorously challenge any such rule. Accordingly, NCTA will await the final resolution of the order at the next FCC meeting before making a final determination of our views or on any actions we might take subsequent to that meeting.
“Finally, I do want to acknowledge and thank the members of Congress who, on a bipartisan basis, made clear that Title I was and is the appropriate regulatory framework. And I want to thank and applaud Chairman Genachowski, his Chief of Staff, Eddie Lazarus, and their staff for listening, for their hard work on incredibly complex business and technology issues, and for their leadership in seeking a fair resolution of a difficult and controversial set of policy goals.”
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