ISP Group Arms for July 12 Title II Protest

With theJuly 12Title II Day of Action protest targeting ISPs getting a lot of attention, Broadband for America (BFA), which backs and includes those ISPs, was pushing back with a backgrounder on why Title II fans are off base.

BFA said the protestors will claim that the FCC wants to end net neutrality, that Title II is the only way to preserve an open internet, and that ISPs oppose net neutrality. Wrong, wrong and wrong said BFA.

It said ISPs strongly support an open internet and have pledged to support enforceable principles and legislation to permanently protect against "blocking or unreasonable discrimination."

BFA says that the current Title II regime las led to a $3.6 billion decrease in infrastructure investment and puts the entire internet ecosystem at risk. While Title II fans say that is the only foolproof legal framework for protecting the internet, BFA said legislation "can pass" that will protect it without the "burdens and problems" of utility regs.

"Between wired and wireless internet options, Americans can choose a variety of products and services that best meet their needs," said BFA. "Despite this fact, some of the country’s largest tech companies will continue advocating for utility regulations that apply only to ISPs, while they themselves can continue to prioritize web traffic and content without regulatory oversight. Instead, open internet principles should apply equally to everyone in the internet ecosystem."

Among companies theJuly 12protest organizers say have joined them are Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Vimeo.

BFA members include AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter, CTIA–The Wireless Association, Comcast, NCTA–The Internet & Television Association, Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and USTelecom.

ISPs have been pushing for bipartisan legislation that would "clarify" that internet access is not a Title II common carrier service and prevent blocking or throttling (paid prioritization is a greyer area).

(Photo via Frankieleon's FlickrImage taken on Feb. 14, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 9x16 aspect ratio.)

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.