Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) has introduced legislation to prevent the FCC from reclassifying broadband as, at last in part a Title II common carrier service, something ISP's have long characterized as the "nuclear option" approach to open Internet regs. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association backs the bill.
“In light of the FCC initiating yet another attempt to regulate the Internet, upending long-standing precedent and imposing monopoly-era telephone rules and obligations on the 21st Century broadband marketplace, Congress must take action to put an end to this misguided regulatory proposal,” said Latta in announcing the bill.
On his Web site, the legislation was framed as a response to the FCC's release of "a proposal to reclassify broadband Internet access under Title II as a telecommunications service rather than an information service."
Actually, the proposal was to use Sec. 706 authority, rather than reclassification, although in response to major pushback from network neutrality groups, Wheeler emphasized that Title II was on the table and could, and would, be used if necessary to insure rules that would stand court review. The FCC voted in a split decision to propose the Sec. 706 route but asked questions about whether that was sufficient and how, in the alternative, Title II should be applied.
That was enough to get Title II opponents nervous about the prospects that II reclassification would wind up to be the FCC's preferred route for justifying new anti-blocking and anti-unreasonable discrimination rules.
“Since the late 1990's, policymakers and regulators have established a bipartisan consensus that a light regulatory touch provides the best path for ensuring that the Internet will become an engine of economic growth and social prosperity," said NCTA in a statement. "We support the efforts of vice chairman Latta to codify current policy and to ensure that the Internet continues to grow and remains open and free from the burdens of outdated, public utility regulation.”