AT&T's Stephenson: Title II Could Threaten Universal High-Speed

Concerns are clearly mounting that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler could move to a hybrid Title II model for reinstating Open Internet rules in response to pushback on his original proposal from those who see it as a way to allow for paid prioritization of Internet traffic.  

Earlier this week, AT&T chairman Randall Stephenson talked to Wheeler about the issue, arguing that the FCC has authority under its Sec. 706 authority to prohibit paid prioritization "which harms consumers or competition," and that regulating the Internet under Title II could do a number on Wheeler's top priority of extending high-speed broadband.  

According to an ex parte filing on the conversations, Stephenson told Wheeler that Title II "is not only contrary to Commission precedent, but would negatively impact broadband infrastructure investment in a manner that would be counterproductive to the Commission’s and Administration’s goal of making high speed broadband universally available in the United States." 

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.