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Rural Providers Praise FCC's Pai on Title II

Rural broadband members of USTelecom have told FCC chairman Ajit Pai that they agree with him that closing the digital divide should be a priority for the commission and that reversing Title II classification of ISPs is part of that effort.

That came in a letter to the chairman from over 30 rural operators.

"We encourage you to keep your focus on closing the digital divide, and we will do everything we can to support this important work," they wrote. "Key to this effort is the initiative you began last week to ensure broadband companies can continue to invest vigorously in stronger, faster networks for consumers, free from the bureaucratic straightjacket of outdated regulations known as Title II."

Saying they may be small individually but serve millions, the companies gave Pai a ringing endorsement and a pat on the back.

"We are behind you, sir, and urge you to stay the course by moving forward in a way that allows for vigorous, continued investment in rural broadband networks, and at the same time ensure a smarter path to net neutrality. With the common sense, fair and modern approach you outlined, there is absolutely no need to make this a heated debate or an either/or choice."

The letter notwithstanding, the debate has indeed been heated over Pai's proposal to reverse Title II, eliminate the general conduct standard, reverse the decision to assert authority over interconnection agreements and more.

Democrats in Congress have called it a net neutrality killer that they will fight with all the tools at their disposal.