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Free Press: Third Way Is the Right Way

"Sensible" and "limited" is how Free Press described the FCC's proposal to reclassify broadband access under Title II common
carrier regs.

The "breathless hyperbole and veiled threats" of their opposition, they argue, can't obscure the fact that broadband

providers are offering a service that transmits data and is clearly a telecommunications offering.

In reply comments on the FCC's so-called "third way" proposal, Free Press ticks off what they say are critical flaws in the
rhetorical arguments of its opponents. Those include that they overstate the scope and impact of "limited" Title II

classification. The FCC is only planning to apply a handful (six or seven) of the Title II regs while forbearing (not

applying the rest), that they overestimate its affect on investment in broadband, that the purported legal hurdles are easily
addressed and dismissed.

They also argue that the FCC has "no other options" if it wants to implement its broadband policies. And implementing the
national broadband
plan is arguably the FCC's chief priority. "This Commission has no hope
of building a sound National Broadband Plan on the failed legal
experiment conducted by the previous administration,"
said Free Press. That experiment was the FCC's decision, upheld by the Supreme Court, that Internet access, content and applications were an inseparable
and lightly regulated Title I information service.

Free Press urged the commission to stand up to what it called a "cynical, money-driven political response" to its proposal.

Even as it was filing its
comments, Free Press was preparing to rally against Google and Verizon
Friday (Aug. 13) for coming to an agreement on network neutrality
principles that exclude wireless broadband from most
openness regs and allows for managed services, which content providers
could use instead of the public Internet to achieve faster speeds and
more robust service.