CFA Seeks Separate Proceedings on Title II Forbearance

Says Application of 12 Sections on Internet Need Vetting

Only days after the FCC signaled chairman Tom Wheeler plans a February vote on new network neutrality rules, possibly including applying some, but not all, Title II common carrier regs, the Consumer Federation of America is advising the commission to look more closely before it leaps to a decision on which of the regs not to apply.

According to CFA director of research Mark Cooper, he called FCC general counsel Jonathan Sallet to advise the commission to provide independent notice and comment proceedings on more than a dozen sections.

He said those sections advance important communications policy goals and deserve "careful consideration before the FCC forbears from exercising its authority to achieve the goals."

While he said the FCC could arguably forbear from the rate regulation authority under Title II, the commission needs to study whether to forbear from regs involving extension of lines; telecommunications services for hearing-impaired and speech-impaired individuals; universal service; disability access; liability for acts and omissions; customer information privacy; blocking/screening offensive material; regulation of pole attachments; barriers to entry; interconnection, and more.

ISPs have argued that applying Title II regs will discourage innovation and investment in broadband buildout, which works against the FCC and Obama Administration's goals of universal access and adoption.