NCTA: FCC Rules Appear To Be Consensus Compromise


Comcast said the Federal Communications Commission's new network neutrality regulations appear to strike a "workable balance," while Verizon said they were likely to be harmful to "consumers and the nation."
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association and Comcast, its largest member, were generally on the same page.
NCTA president Kyle McSlarrow said that he agreed with the Republican commissioners -- who voted against the rules -- that they were unnecessary, but said since it had been clear there were three votes for rules that would have gone much farther, the association's goal had been rules that would avoid unintended consequences and that preserved investment and innovation.

"As I have stated previously, months of negotiations and discussions have led to a rough consensus of rules that we
believe can accomplish those goals and avoid the extreme and counterproductive demands for rate regulation,
unbundling of networks, and reclassification under Title II," McSlarrow said. "While we will reserve final judgment until after we have an opportunity to closely review the text of the Order once it is released, it appears that the rules themselves contain that compromise consensus."
"While we look forward to reviewing the final order, the rules as described generally appear intended to strike a
workable balance between the needs of the marketplace for certainty and everyone's desire that Internet openness be preserved," asid Comcast executive vice president David Cohen. "Most importantly, this approach removes the cloud of Title II regulation that would unquestionably have harmed innovation and investment in the Internet and broadband infrastructure."

Verizon and telecom lobby USTelecom were in general agreement as well. "While we appreciate the hard work and good faith that the chairman put into this matter, and his proceeding under Title I rather than Title II," said USTelecom president Walter McCormick, "we do not support the final rule, and we believe that the Commission will come to regret the action it has taken today as one that is fundamentally inconsistent with the National Broadband Plan's goals of increased broadband investment, innovation, deployment, and adoption."

"While it will take some time for us to analyze the FCC's rules and the order once they are released, the FCC's
decision apparently reaches far beyond the net neutrality rules it announced today," said Verizon in a statement.
"Based on today's announcement, the FCC appears to assert broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband wireline and wireless networks and the Internet itself. This assertion of authority without solid statutory
underpinnings will yield continued uncertainty for industry, innovators, and investors. In the long run, that is
harmful to consumers and the nation."

All the comments came with the caveat that they had not seen the final order, which won't be released for a couple of days.