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Verizon: Title II Classification Would Cause Widespread Harm

Verizon told the FCC Thursday that reclassifying broadband transmissions as a telecommunications service  subject to some Title II common carrier regs would cause "widespread harm to the Internet ecosystem." And besides, it said, it would be illegal.

Even worse, said the wireless company, if the FCC imposed those regs on wireless broadband.

Verizon was one of the "Big Six" broadband stakeholders meeting at the FCC about a possible legislative approach to clarifying the FCC's broadband regulatory authority, but those talks broke off after Verizon and Google came to a side agreement that included expanding and codifying the FCC's Internet openness guidelines, but excluded wireless from all but a new, transparency, principle and allowed for managed services, specialized broadband services that would not be delivered over the public Internet and could provide faster and more robust content delivery at a price.

Verizon, in reply comments on Title II reclassification submitted Thursday, said that regulation proponents have overestimated the ease with which the FCC could just change its mind and reverse its conclusion that Internet access was an integrated information service subject to light-touch Title I regs.

Verizon put in a plug for the policy framework it has teamed with Google to tout. "Targeted legislation of this kind is the best way to strike an appropriate balance that protects consumers and promotes continued innovation and investment, while foregoing unnecessary and harmful regulation," said Verizon.

AT press time, Google's filing was not available. But in initial comments it supported Title II reclassification, calling it a tailored approach that would produce a "legally sound, light-touch framework."