D.C. Tackles Title II, Part II

Reaction continued to flood in as the scope of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's proposed Title II-based network neutrality rules became clearer.

AT&T was sounding a note of hope amid what was generally a flood of red-faced ISP reaction.

"We continue to believe that a middle ground exists that will allow us to safeguard the open Internet without risk to needed investment and years of legal uncertainty."

That could be a reference to draft legislation that would block Title II but prevent paid prioritization, blocking and throttling, or to changes in the draft, which will not be official until it is vetted, and perhaps edited, by the other commissioners and voted by the full commission Feb. 26.

"We were able to find such a path in 2010, and will do our very best to seek such a path today," AT&T said, a reference to compromise net neutrality rules adopted in 2010 but thrown out by a federal court after Verizon challenged them. "We also hope that proponents of Title II will consider that any FCC action taken on a partisan vote can be undone by a future commission in similar fashion, or may be declared invalid by the courts. The best way to ensure that open Internet protections, investment and innovation endure is for people of good faith to come together on a bipartisan basis for that purpose. We believe such an opportunity exists today."

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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.