NCTA ex parte says CBUI hasn’t demonstrated need for regulation and its reasoning is based on misguided interpretation of law and history
Washington, D.C., --
In an ex parte letter (see attachment) filed late yesterday with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) said the Coalition of Broadband Users and Innovators (CBUI), in its occasional filings to the FCC, has failed to point to any credible evidence that cable operators block cable modem customers from accessing any part of the Internet.
CBUI’s continued calls for broadband regulation are little more than an attempt to use the government to give CBUI companies a competitive edge, NCTA said.
Stating that proposed government regulation of the broadband Internet providers is a “solution in search of a problem,” NCTA also said in the ex parte that CBUI members have conveniently exempted themselves from their own proposed “anti-discrimination” rules. Questionable use of historical and legal precedent demonstrates CBUI’s further inability to find a legitimate reason to impose this new regulation on the Internet, NCTA said.
“CBUI has for the past year been urging the Commission to adopt regulations to ensure that cable operators who offer high-speed Internet service provide unfettered access to Internet content, applications, and hardware,” the ex parte filing said. “But despite their best efforts, CBUI’s members have been unable to come up with any evidence that cable operators are interfering, or intend to interfere, with such unfettered access.”
In the ex parte filing, NCTA said CBUI’s attempt to force government regulation of broadband Internet service providers should be rejected for the following reasons:
“When all is said and done, CBUI’s ceaseless campaign to impose regulation on a still-developing but well-functioning broadband Internet marketplace has yet to come up with any evidence of a problem that needs solving,” the ex parte filing said. “Its contention that prophylactic regulation is the norm, even in the absence of demonstrated harm, is groundless. Its suggestion that terms and restrictions in user agreements might conceivably be used to restrict the openness of the Internet is belied by similar and more far-reaching restrictions in CBUI members own user agreements, and its contention that cable operators have imposed significant, unreasonable restrictions on access to content, applications and hardware has no basis.”
“The old adage, ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’ should be observed when contemplating government regulation of any sort. However, it’s especially important to consider the detrimental effect of new, unnecessary regulation on the growing Internet economy,” said Dan Brenner, NCTA Senior Vice President, Law & Regulatory Policy.NCTA is the principal trade association of the cable television industry in the United States. NCTA represents cable operators serving more than 90 percent of the nation’s cable television households and more than 200 cable program networks, as well as equipment suppliers and providers of other services to the cable industry.