Today, Mobile Future filed comments urging the FCC to reclassify broadband internet access service (“BIAS”) under Title I of the Communications Act to promote investment in innovative broadband technology, to encourage the creation of new jobs, and to drive economic growth. Broadband internet access service is currently subject to Title II of the Communications Act and its monopoly public utility regulation, wherein it is entirely overregulated and investments in technological innovation and broadband deployment are being stifled. Maintaining broadband internet access service classification under Title II continues to negatively impact investment in broadband technology, and the best way to ensure that broadband internet is affordable and accessible across the country is to return to the Title I classification that prevailed for decades and provided the successful light-touch approach that fostered the development of the modern Internet.
“Ensuring an open internet and a vibrant mobile ecosystem are both essential policy objectives, and neither requires the use of innovation-chilling and investment-stifling utility regulation,” said Robert M. McDowell, former FCC commissioner and Chief Public Policy Advisor to Mobile Future. “The Commission’s 2015 decision to subject broadband to public utility regulation injected uncertainty into the market and jeopardized the future of critical investments in American broadband infrastructure.”
Mobile Future specifically called upon the FCC to protect open internet by proceeding with the proposals in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under Title I, and upon Congress to pass legislation to provide unambiguous and permanent protections for consumers and regulatory certainty for providers to stimulate innovation, investment, and economic growth.