“NCTA Supports The FCC Order Because …”

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With that opening, NCTA president Kyle McSlarrow stood with FCC chairman Julius
Genachowski last week when given an opportunity
to slam the new network-neutrality
rules by Republicans eager to scap them
as job-killing regulatory overreach. McSlarrow
had been at the table when the compromise
regulations were hammered out. But while
the wireless lobby was taking a hard line on the rules, McSlarrow
remained politic. He explained why cable operators would accept
what he has all along said was an unnecessary regulator move:

• “It largely codifies the status quo practices to which the industry
has voluntarily committed”;

• It contains helpful clarifying language around such issues as
what constitutes “reasonable network management”;

• “It provides greater certainty about our ability to manage and
invest in our broadband services today and those we may deploy
in the future”; and [last but likely not least]

• The alternative of Title II regulation (which had three likely FCC
votes in support and was the only likely alternative),with the
attendant risks of unbundling and rate regulation, presented
“a stark and much-worse risk to continued investment and job
creation.”

McSlarrow said he believed the order “represented a good
faith effort on the part of chairman Genachowski and his staff to
accomplish those goals and avoid those risks.” He managed not
to directly challenge the Republicans while supporting the FCC
chairman, which would be a fitting postscript on McSlarrow’s
tenure at NCTA, where he has managed to retain the respect of
both sides of the aisle.

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