NCTA: Title II Would Be Disaster

As the FCC prepares to weigh in on new open Internet rules, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association wants to make clear that overregulation would be risky business.

Taking a page from some of the net neutrality regulation fans in Silicon Valley, NCTA's home page was given over to a redirect to more information on the issue of Internet regulation.

"Unable to connect," said a white box on the NCTA site Tuesday with an accompanying yellow warning triangle. "You can find anything on the Internet except a good reason to regulate it like a public utility."

The home page then redirected users to an explanation of why Title II regulation of Internet access would be a disaster.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed not using Title II to support new anti-blocking and anti-unreasonable discrimination rules, but has been getting pushback from some in Silicon Valley and open internet activists and has signaled Title II is still an option.

NCTA argues it is an option that would lead to slower network upgrades, slower speeds, higher prices, less investment, less innovation and slower consumer adoption.

Elsewhere, various tech and small government groups including telco-funded TechFreedom, Less Government, and Taxpayers Protection Alliance, all opposed to Title II, have launched the DontBreakThe.Net campaign, which includes an online form to e-mail Wheeler, asking him not to "break" the Internet by imposing Title II regulations.

"The FCC has better things to do than spend years fighting about Title II - like actually clearing barriers to competition and promoting investment in broadband," the Don't Break the Internet Coalition says.

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.