CTIA, USTelecom, WISPA Praise Court Net Neutrality Decision

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UPDATE Several industry associations were happy with Tuesday’s federal appeals court decision on net neutrality. The court delivered a mixed ruling, allowing the FCC’s 2017 repeal to stand. It also struck down a provision blocking states from implementing their own open internet rules. 

“The wireless industry supports an open internet, and we are pleased that the court upheld the FCC’s authority to classify mobile broadband,” said CTIA President/CEO Meredith Attwell Baker. The time is now right for Congress to enshrine permanent neutrality protections into law, thereby safeguarding consumers’ interests without discouraging network investments which are vital to promoting innovation and creating jobs.”

“The court got it right and affirmed what anyone who has been paying attention to Washington’s net neutrality saga knows to be true: the internet is open, ISPs are investing to bring internet users the content they want, and we remain absolutely opposed to anti-consumer practices like blocking, throttling and anti-competitive paid-prioritization,” said USTelecom President/CEO Jonathan Spalter. “While we are still reviewing the details, one thing is clear: Congress must end this regulatory rinse and repeat cycle by passing a strong national framework that applies to all companies, maintains our dynamic and open internet, and sustains our global digital leadership for the next generation and beyond.” 

The Wireless Internet Service Providers, too, welcomed the decision. “The onerous Title II rules, which the FCC adopted in 2015, presented a significant obstacle to deployment for our members, the overwhelming majority of whom are small ISPs serving underserved rural communities,” said WISPA President/CEO Claude Aiken. “The FCC’s 2018 Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIFO) for the most part represents the right approach to these matters – one which keeps utility regulation away from the internet, and in doing so, promotes ubiquitous broadband deployment via the light-touch regulatory regime WISPA has favored.” 

Pole access also is impacted by the court decision. WISPA members are not traditional common carriers or cable operators, and, with the court’s upholding of RIFO, which repeals reclassification, that means WISPA members cannot access poles via the Communications Act, Aiken explained. “We urge Congress and the Commission to address this in a manner which brings all communications players to the table – not one which excludes the very entities bringing broadband to America’s underserved rural communities, such as WISPA’s members.”    

October 3, 2019   

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