With the FCC moving Thursday to roll back rules established in 2015 to regulate how internet service providers conduct business, the cable industry continued to hammer home a message which essentially reads: “We like an open internet, just not the way former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was doing it.”
“We applaud Chairman Pai and Commissioner O’Rielly for remaining focused on creating a light touch regulatory environment that is pro-consumer, pro-investment, and pro-innovation, especially with the present partisan political rhetoric and debate,” blogged Comcast regulatory affairs chief David L. Cohen, delivering yet another shout-out to the agency’s Republican leadership.
“Charter has long practiced the principles of an open internet as part of our commitment to provide a superior broadband experience to our customers that also includes the fastest base speeds in the industry without data caps, usage-based billing, modem fees or early termination fees,” the nation’s No. 2 cable operator said in its own statement. “We support the FCC’s action today to initiate an open and transparent rule-making process that seeks to establish a forward-looking regulatory framework that will unleash innovation, drive broadband infrastructure investment and spur economic growth–all in the interest of consumers.”
Both Comcast and Charter also received coverage from their special interest group, NCTA — The Internet and Television Association, which stated: “Today’s action appropriately begins the agency’s efforts to restore a modern regulatory framework that will promote internet freedom and ensure that the internet continues to grow, thrive and remain accessible to every American. We firmly believe that forcing outdated public utility regulation on dynamic internet networks is both misguided and harmful for future expansion, innovation and availability of this important technology."
The American Cable Association also got in on the act: "ACA applauds the FCC for beginning a proceeding to scrap utility-style Title II regulation of ISPs and return to the light-touch approach that had proven so successful for so many years prior to the previous FCC's 2015 order. The previous FCC's action to impose a century-old regulatory framework designed for telephone monopolies was made despite the complete lack of evidence that smaller ISPs had market power and were using it to harm their customers or edge providers. Yet, these ISPs now bear the full brunt of this wrong-headed decision, leaving them vulnerable to a host of new obligations and second-guessing by the FCC on the reasonableness of all of their rates, terms, conditions and practices."