Title II Foes To FCC: Give Congress a Chance

Suggest Commission Should Let Hill Have a Crack at Clarifying Authority

Opponents of Title II regulations were applauding the Draft network neutrality legislation circulating Friday, with some suggesting the FCC should stand down and let Congress provide clear marching orders on protecting an Open Internet.

"We've long felt this is an issue best addressed by Congress.  Investors and consumers need certainty, not years of litigation and possibly higher monthly bills," said AT&T executive vice president of  federal relations Tim McKone. "We stand ready to work constructively with Congress towards that end."

"This new and real congressional focus on resolving the net neutrality issue in Congress through compromise in the legislative process will test whether the FCC really wants real legal authority to preserve an Open Internet? Or does the FCC prefer to roll the dice a third time and risk strike three on its 0-2 legal count?" said Scott Cleland of Netcompetition.org.

“What irreparable harm would occur if the FCC deferred to Congress, the source of all its existing and future legal authority, for a reasonable period of time in order to try and resolve this issue most legitimately, in a duly elected Congress, and in a bipartisan manner, because the President must act upon any legislation that passes?"

The bill was prompted in part by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's announcement that he wanted to vote on new rules next month, new rules he signaled would be based on Title II reclassification.

American Cable Association president Matthew Polka praised the bill as a conversation starter.

“ACA applauds Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune (R-S.D.), House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), House Communications and Technology Subcommittee chairman Greg Walden (R-Or.) for introducing legislation that starts an open and bipartisan discussion in Congress on what are the appropriate rules of the road for the Internet marketplace to protect consumers, promote innovation, and continue investment in networks deployed by smaller broadband providers," he said.