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MoveOn Would Rather FCC Pass No Net Rules Than Current Proposal

A quartet of network neutrality proponents say they would rather the FCC do nothing than adopt the chairman's current compromise proposal to expand and codify network neutrality guidelines.

While industry players have reluctantly signed on to the compromise as an alternative to the "nuclear option" of Title Ii reclassification, MoveOn, CREDO Action and Progressive Change Campaign Committee say that it is Title II or nothing.

That came in letters to both FCC Chairman Julius Genachowksi and Title II fan Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps. They ask Copps to vote against the rules, saying that "In their current state, they are unfit for adoption by the Federal Communications Commission."

Copps has indicated there needed to be some changes to language in the draft order and that his vote is not a lock.
"[N]o acceptable proposal can permit paid prioritization; can exempt wireless broadband from the protections offered for wireline; nor can it move forward without reclassifying broadband, providing the legal footing required by the courts for implementation." they told Copps. They were pretty much preaching to the choir since Copps has expressed concerns about all those issues as well, though it is unclear whether that would translate to a no vote--or more likely a no "signal" to the chairman that would trigger a withdrawal of the item from the Dec. 21 agenda.

"In his relentless search for the path of least resistance, Chairman Genachowski has proposed a set of rules that, if adopted, would normalize ISPs' ability to discriminate between sources and types of content. The Chairman's proposal appears to be a collection of safe-harbors requested by the largest carriers, rather than rule to benefit average citizens. And by eschewing reclassification under Title II, the Chairman all but guarantees the courts will strike down the regulations," they wrote.

The chairman has not closed the Title II reclassification docket, which could leave a fallback position if the Title I route did get hung up in court.

The groups were equally unequivocal in their direct appeal to Genachowski. Saying his proposal as drafted would "doing irreparable harm to America's broadband infrastructure," they said it was "critical that the FCC not lend its credibility to such anti-consumer practices," and added that, "from our perspective, to do nothing would be better than to adopt the current set of rules."