A set of technology vendors serving communications service providers have come out firmly against reclassification of broadband as a Title II service.
The suppliers, which include Arris, Broadcom, Cisco, and Ericsson, delivered a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker insisting that classifying the Internet as a public utility would have harmful implications for the Internet and the broader national economy.
Cognizant that something might have to give, however, the companies signaled they might be amenable to some regulation, recognizing that the FCC already has some authority to take some measures to regulate broadband services under Section 706 of the Communications Act.
The companies say that investment in broadband networks and equipment has flourished under the current light regulatory approach.
Infrastructure equipment spending by businesses is expected to grow from $38.6 billion in 2013 to $42.9 billion in 2017. The companies said reclassifying broadband would “threaten demand for Internet infrastructure, reduce incentives for investment, hinder innovation and jeopardize this success.”
The group argues that resources that would normally be spent on building and improving infrastructure would instead be spent complying with “burdensome regulatory obligations, and uncertainty regarding future profitability would deter additional private investments. If investment in broadband services declines, it will set off a domino effect of decreased investment and innovation…”
The letter also says that if the FCC goes forward with new regulations, it should exercise legal authority under Section 706 rather than Title II.
Tom Stanton, chairman and CEO of Adtran said, “The Internet has been an American success story, profoundly increasing domestic job growth, productivity, and economic prosperity. We supported the FCC’s original proposal, because it recognized the difficulties in applying rules that were created decades ago before the Internet even existed. Our company signed this letter, along with 30 other like-minded companies, urging the Administration to adopt policies that will incentivize investment in broadband infrastructure.”
Those signing the letter are:
- ACS Solutions
- ActiveVideo Networks
- Blonder Tongue
- Concurrent Computer
- Gainspeed, Inc.
- ILS Technologies
- NetCracker Technology
- Panasonic Corporation of North America
- Penthera Partners
- Sumitomo Electric Lightwave
- This Technology
- Universal Remote Control
- Walker & Associates
Filed Under: Industry regulations