Regional Mobile Carriers Warn Against Net Rules

Grafting Open Internet Rules onto Mobile, Bad for ISP's
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Some smaller, regional mobile broadband carriers have asked the FCC not to impose "prescriptive new rules" on their service.

In a letter to the commission, the carriers said they are committed to an open Internet but that they need the flexibility to differentiate services.

The FCC did not impose anti-discrimination rules on Mobile broadband in the 2010 Open Internet order, but given the rise of mobile broadband as their Internet access service of choice, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has suggested the FCC might need to include mobile this time around. The 2010 order recognized that might be the case, indicating the FCC would monitor the marketplace and might revisit that decision.

The mobile carriers say the FCC was right the first time.

"It is important that we retain the flexibility to distinguish ourselves that the Commission granted in the 2010 Open Internet rules, and that any new rules be based on a mobile-specific approach," they said. "Given our unique challenges, applying sweeping rules, even subject to a network management exception, would not afford us the flexibility to innovate, experiment, and deliver differentiated services to our communities."

That goes for Title II or Sec. 706-buttressed rules.

"Applying an outdated and backward-looking Title II common-carriage regime to our services would also stifle innovation and investment and would do a disservice to rural America. Similarly, Commission adoption of expansive no-blocking rules or “commercially reasonable” standards for mobile broadband would hinder smaller carriers’ ability to engage in practices designed to improve network performance or offer the alternative business models at the heart of competitive differentiation," they said.