Tech Cos. Tell FCC To Avoid Title II

Technology manufacturers and suppliers have written the FCC to warn that classifying the Internet under Title II common carrier regs would hurt the 'net and the economy and "jeopardize" investment.

They suggested that a Title II approach could dry up billions of dollars in network investments that help drive their manufacturing businesses.

They say that infrastructure equipment business is expected to grow by more than $4 billion by 2017, growth that Title II regulation would threaten by reducing demand.

"Because Title II allows for so little flexibility and innovation, it would undercut substantially the broadband providers’ incentives to make the investments necessary to fund network deployments and upgrades," they said.

The debate continues to rage over how to prevent blocking and unreasonable discrimination without discouraging investment and innovation, as the FCC considers new Open Internet rules proposed by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that do not reclassify ISP service.

A group of 33 companies wrote that the FCC should maintain a light regulatory touch, and if it decides to "go forward with new regulations," which is pretty much a given, it should use its Sec. 706 authority, which a court advised the commission it could use to justify new rules.

Among the companies signing on to the letter, which are members of either the National Association of Broadcasters or the Telecommunications Industry Association, are IBM, Cisco, Ericsson. Broadcom, Blonder-Tongue and Synacor.

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.