NCTA: Title II, Net Neutrality Not Remotely the Same

On the eve of Wednesday's net neutrality day of action that will be devoted mostly to advocating for retaining Title II classification of internet access providers, NCTA: The Internet & Television Association blogged against conflating that regulatory regime with an open internet.

"In the opinion of theDay of Action organizers, reversing Title II threatens the net-neutrality principles that today govern the internet; namely, that internet providers cannot block, throttle, or unfairly prioritize content that they carry over their networks," the association blogged. "To be clear though, Title II and net neutrality are not even remotely the same thing. Title II is a complicated set of rules from the 1930s meant to govern an era when rotary dial telephones were in vogue. It has as much relevance to the internet as a horse and buggy has to an airplane."

Related: AT&T Joins Internet Action Day

While day of action activists have said they are trying to educate and rally the public about their cause of preserving the Title II-based 2015 Open Internet order, the NCTA said the real goal is to scare them into thinking if Title II is rolled back, so will their protections against a degraded online experience.

"That is why we are emphatically restating what we have been saying for nearly a decade: We agree that internet users should have the freedom to go anywhere on the internet or to run any application with confidence that internet traffic will in no way be blocked or throttled," NCTA said. "That idea sits at the foundation of internet services, reflects how consumers enjoy the internet today and, despite claims to the contrary, has never truly been in jeopardy."

NCTA said that when the rubber meets the road, or the legislative pen meets the paper, everyone can agree that net-neutrality rules should be clear, consistent, permanent, enforceable and free from the red tape it argues Title II is wrapped in.

Cable—as the largest residential broadband provider—has always delivered an open internet experience for consumers, NCTA said, so theimages of slow-loading websitesactivists are sharing as part of their protest are a "false prophesy."

(Photo via Rock1997Image taken on Jan. 18, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 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.