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Vendors unite against broadband reclassification threat

2014-09-10 09:19 by
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In a letter submitted Tuesday to the U.S. Department of Commerce, a group of equipment manufacturers including Cisco Systems, IBM and Intel maintained that reclassifying broadband as a regulated common-carrier service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act would threaten to remove incentives to invest in broadband growth.

"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 Relevant Products/Services deployments and upgrades," according to the letter.

"A sudden shift from the existing light-touch approach-which has been an unqualified success and the basis for billions of dollars in investments-to the prescriptive regime of Title II would be extremely disruptive to the broadband marketplace," the letter continued. "Resources that would normally be spent on building and improving infrastructure would instead be spent complying with burdensome regulatory obligations, and uncertainty regarding future profitability would deter additional private investments."

The letter came on the heels of a letter sent to the FCC Monday by House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who urged the commission to reclassify broadband under Title II.

"I oppose special Internet fast lanes, only open to those firms large enough to pay big money or fraught enough to give up big stakes in their company," she said.

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