Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Me.), a self-described longtime champion of network neutrality, is the latest legislator to raise red flags over the FCC's proposed reclassification of some broadband under some Title II regulations.
In a letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, Snowe wrote that while she understands the desire to provide "fundamental protections" to Internet users, she has concerns about the implications of reclassification for innovation, and the possibility that future commissioners could retract the rules. That could lead to ambiguity that "will only exacerbate this nation's lagging global broadband rankings and technological competitiveness."
She called the chairman's proposal well-intentioned but with significant drawbacks, saying the plan to forbear (not apply) most of the Title II common carrier regs (price controls, unbundling) would result in uncertainty that could "hamper or delay" infrastructure investment.
Snowe said Congress should do the heavy lifting on a new regulatory regime that ensures accessible and affordable broadband and gives the FCC "the appropriate tools" to preserve an open Internet.
While Genachowski has billed his modified Title II approach as a compromise, Snowe said updating existing laws in concert with all the stakeholders is the "only true 'middle ground.' "