CTIA: FCC Net Regs Won't Boost Jobs or Economy

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Top cell telephone industry lobbyist Steve Largent says the Federal Communications Commission's new network neutrality regulations won't boost the economy or increase jobs or investment. He also believes they weren't necessary and were essentially the lesser of two evils.

That was the thrust of Largent response to House Energy & Commerce Republican leaders in response to questions on his view of the FCC's Dec. 21 decision to expand and codify its network openness guidelines.

That followed the committee's Feb. 16 oversight hearing on the rules with the five FCC commissioners -- only the three Democratic commissioners voted for the rules.

Largent, president of CTIA: The Wireless Association, said he did not believed the rules were necessary. But asked whether it was equitable that the regs apply to wireless but not to web companies, he refused to argue for regulating them. "CTIA does not believe that there need to be rules applied to the wireless industry," he said, "nor have we sought to impose regulation of this sort on others who are part of the broadband ecosystem."

Asked whether he supported the FCC's order, of whether it was "just better than the FCC's other proposals, eh said that it was not necessary but, "we certainly view it as preferable to the Title II regulation advanced by some parties.

Actually, Largent would likely have preferred one of the FCC's options. In its proposal of a modified Title II regime, the FCC also offered the options of doing nothing and imposing full Title II regs.

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